Artists Sue CBS, CNET for Profiting from Distribution of P2P Software

Artists Sue CBS, CNET for Profiting from Distribution of P2P Software

More than a hundred artists, writers and producers join FilmOn founder Alki David to re-file lawsuit against CBS Interactive and CNET for distributing a “vast array” of P2P programs used “primarily” for copyright infringement, and providing “detailed reviews” that discussed the “suitability” of those programs for infringement as well as instructions for how to use them to infringe.

FilmOn founder Alki David is back at it again, refiling a lawsuit against CBS Interactive and CNET alleging that the two profited from the piracy of copyright music by the artists that have signed on. They allege that “millions and potentially billions of dollars in  revenues” have been earned over the years by “fostering and popularizing piracy of copyrighted works.”

“CBS Interactive has quietly made billions by inducing the public to break the law, by providing them the file-sharing software and step-by-step guides, on exactly how to do it,” said Baker Marquart  LLP, the law firm representing Alki David and the Justice for Artists Coalition. “No one has held Defendant accountable for this. Until now.”

The Justice for Artists Coalition is comprised of over a hundred Artists, writers and producers representing over a thousand copyrighted works. Some of teh artists include PM Dawn, Slick Rick, Ron Brows, Sugar Hill Music, and Luther Campbell.

“PM Dawn, Slick Rick, Ron Brows, Sugar Hill Music, Luther Campbell aka Luke Skywalker, Pretty Ricky, Dough E Fresh, H-Town and many others have joined the rapidly growing Coalition, said David. “We have only scratched the surface. Many more rights-holders are coming forward representing tens of thousands of more intellectual properties but the verification process for identifying ownership is long and detailed, so we will keep on adding as we go.”

The lawsuit alleges that CBS Interactive and CNET “did more to further this massive infringement than Napster of LimeWire ever could by falsely legitimizing it and popularizing it to the masses.” It argues that by having non-infringing licensed software available on the same site as software that is “clearly intended to be downloaded for infringing purposes” they gave users the false impression that the latter was as legitimate as the former.

If that wasn’t enough, they also provided detailed step-by-step instructions that showed visitors how to setup and use P2P software to ostensibly illegally download copyrighted material.

“CBS Interactive is the Pirate Bay of Corporate America, have literally distributed Pirate Bay search and download tools and many others” continued Mr. David.

The new lawsuit was refiled after an earlier failed effort that began in earnest last December. David began forming a class action lawsuit against CBS and CNET a month later, and eventually sued this past May. Unfortunately for David it was later amended to just 6 copyrighted works, none of which many had even heard of, and it was soon quietly dropped. With so many artists involved this time around things might be different.

Stay tuned.

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Read the Complaint