The US Supreme Court ruling that states that peer-to-peer file-sharing networks are responsible for copyright infringements committed by their users could be a boon to Apple and other companies that offer legal music buying facilities, says an analyst.

IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian told Associated Press: "It's likely that it will help grow the market for legitimate (Internet)-based and wireless media. It could mean more competition in that space in general as more companies enter that space and as music and media companies become more supportive than they have been to date."

Digital music analyst Phil Leigh agreed that the ruling would be good for iTunes and similar services, but he doesn't expect a lot to change. "I don't think it's a tremendous boost. It's not going to change the present situation. It will be like pressing on the accelerator a little," he said.

Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff was even less optimistic. He said: "It's going to have absolutely no effect whatsoever. The people who are pirates and continue to do pirate downloads will not be affected by this decision."