The U.S. Supreme Court will decide shortly whether a company that creates software for the purpose of encouraging users to infringe on others’ copyrights shall be held liable. The case threatens to upend a 1984 Court decision that absolved technology companies of liability if their products had “substantial non-infringing uses.” That decision legalized the video cassette recorder.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, assistant professor in New York University’s Department of Culture and Communication in the Steinhardt School of Education, and the head of the undergraduate program in Communication Studies, is available for comment on the pending Supreme Court decision in MGM v. Grokster. Vaidhyanathan wrote an amicus brief on behalf of media scholars in the Grokster case supporting peer-to-peer technology for its educational and research uses.

Vaidhyanathan penned two books on copyright and technology, The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004), and Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001).

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Jennifer Zwiebel, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, Steinhardt School of Education at 212.998.6797 or

Editor’s note:
NYU’s Steinhardt School is a rich source of ground-breaking scholarship on issues of national and global significance and innovation in research, teaching, practice, and performance. The School prepares students to be educators, health professionals, counselors, and psychologists, academics, musicians, artists, communication specialists, and policy analysts. The Steinhardt School values its location in New York City, where it is engaged in research, partnerships, and community service aimed at improving urban life and the city’s institutions.

Press Contact