[d@DCC] Sony vs Universal and courts.

Charles MacDonald cmacd at achilles.net
Sat Aug 21 11:37:41 EDT 2004

> As I understand US law (which admittedly leaves a lot to be desired),
> doesn't this kind of disagreement between circuit courts imply that
> at some point the Supreme Court will agree to hear a case to resolve
> the disagreement ?

The concept is common to any legal system that inherits from British Law.

A given court has to follow its own interpretations or those of courts 
higher up, or DISTINGUISH the facts so that they don't fit those earlier 

In the case you cite, a different district (same level of court) has 
made a different interpretation, and so the court is distancing itself 
and following it's own precedent.

Now if the supreme court were to hear a case, and if the facts were 
similar, and the precedents from one or both cases were to fit those 
facts, whatever the Supreme court rules would be binding on all the 
district courts.

IF the two courts had come to the same conclusion, the first would have 
cited the second as an additional authority.

Many cases establish tests like " probability of non-infringing use" 
which can be weighted.  In this one it seems that the district court is 
uncomfortable with that sort of a test.


Charles MacDonald  Stittsville Ontario
  cmacd at achilles.net      Just Beyond the Fringe
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