FilmOn.com founder Alki David and a coalition of music and film artists allege that CBS Interactive Inc. and CNET Networks, Inc. have been a “major source” for LimeWire and other P2P applications, and that they are therefore liable for the “massive copyright infringement” these applications are responsible for.
FilmOn.com founder Alki David is leading a coalition of music and film artists in a class action lawsuit against CBS Interactive Inc. and CNET Networks, Inc. for mass-scale copyright infringement.
The suit, filed in a Los Angeles federal court, alleges the two have “direct participation in massive copyright infringement on P2P systems,” the primary being the now defunct LimeWire.
It notes that last year District Judge Kimba Wood found that LimeWire had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced others to commit copyright infringement. An injunction was then issued against the P2P program last October, and it faces liability for billions of dollars in damages.
David argues that CBS Interactive and CNET have acted as the “main distributor” of LimeWire and have even “promoted this and other P2P systems to profit from wide-scale copyright infringement.”
David first made the allegations last December, and then announced the formation of a class action lawsuit earlier this year. “There is nothing illegal about file-sharing software,” said at the time, ” but distributing it with the malicious intent to infringe on copyright is.”
He also showed video clips showing several CNET, and therefore “paid employees of CBS,” advocating the use of illegal DRM-circumvention software.
The suit says that CBS and CNET have been a “major source” for LimeWire and other P2P applications like FrostWire, and that they therefore are liable for the infringement theses applications are responsible for.
“Illegal file sharing through LimeWire has caused enormous damage to everyone who is trying to make a living in the entertainment community,” says David. ”As more and more artists join this lawsuit, it will become the most significant copyright infringement lawsuit in history. My ultimate hope is that this lawsuit will ensure that huge corporations like CBS Interactive and CNET do not profit from these wrongful activities at the expense of hard-working artists.”
David names half-dozen artists that are currently part of the suit, and says that he expects more to join as the trial proceeds. He says he believes that “ultimately will become one of the most significant copyright precedents to protect artists’ rights.”
What do you think? Does the suit stand a chance?My only concern is that sites like this – ZeroPaid – could also be tied up with litigation for distribution P2P software.