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CNET Sued Over LimeWire Client Downloads 206

suraj.sun writes with this quote from Ars Technica: "Alki David, the wealthy film producer and entrepreneur behind sites like FilmOn, has sued CNET and its owner, CBS, for providing hundreds of millions of downloads of LimeWire P2P software over the last decade. He argues that CNET had 'direct participation in massive copyright infringement on peer-to-peer systems, such as LimeWire, that are used to copy and distribute songs, films and other artistic works,' and that CNET's was the 'main distributor' of the software. P2P software isn't illegal, though companies that use it to induce or encourage copyright infringement can be held liable. The principle, most famously articulated by the US Supreme Court in the Grokster shutdown, was extended to LimeWire last year when a federal judge shut down most of the company's activity."
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CNET Sued Over LimeWire Client Downloads

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  • by Bobfrankly1 ( 1043848 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @01:22PM (#36049476)

    for its use. It's the theory of selling guns, while immoral by some people's standards, doesn't pull the trigger-- purchasers pull the trigger.

    If CNet is liable, then so are computer makers as they're a huge source of computers, which then download that pirated stuff.

    This guy is merely enriching the lawyers that talked him into it..... and this too, will soon pass.


    The plaintiffs contend that CNET encouraged people to use LimeWire to violate copyright. One of the plaintiffs, Mike Mozart, has spent the last year collecting alleged examples of this; it's an odd mix of material that spans a decade and multiple sites from ZDNET to CNET.

    If this pans out in court, this won't simply "pass", unless there is a settlement involved. They are alleging that CNET didn't simply distribute PTP file sharing software, but that they encouraged it's use for sharing copyrighted music, highlighting big name (by their standards, not mine) artists in screenshots. This detail is huge, and likely the lynchpin of the entire case.

    Disclaimer: IANAL

  • Re:Yet another (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Friday May 06, 2011 @01:31PM (#36049590)
    Or mesothelioma sufferers. As a physician I find it ridiculous - do you know how many cases of mesothelioma there are every year? It's astonishingly small (3000 cases per YEAR in the US). The ONLY reason lawyers pursue it so aggressively is because it's very easy to miss.
  • Safe Harbour? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TrueSatan ( 1709878 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @01:40PM (#36049716)
    On the face of it (and IANAL) I would have to wonder if a defence under the "safe harbour" provisions of the DMCA might apply (these same provisions allow YouTube et al to host content without being liable for copyright infringement so long as they abide by the requirements of the DMCA with respect to "take down notices" as and when any that are of a legal form and correctness are sent to them.) If CNET were to be sent such a notice and to refuse to comply with it there would also be the question of the legality of the notice to consider...if the plaintiff had the right to issue the notice. I can see that lawyers are going to make a lot of money...yet again.
  • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @03:19PM (#36050932)

    Let's sue Ford and GM next, because they are the primary means for obtaining vehicles that are used in crimes. Using the reasoning that is being used against limewire/p2p, then the automakers also have direct participation. Let's not rule out the firearm manufacturers.

    Making software available that has a legitimate use, should not make the distributor liable if somebody chooses to use it for illegitimate purposes. Limewire is a software tool, just as a crowbar is a tool. If I use a crowbar to change a flat tire, that is a proper use. If I use it to bash somebody's head in, that is not. In either case, the crowbar is just a crowbar. It didn't commit any crime, a person did.

    There is a slogan for the NRA that goes something like "Guns don't kill people, people do." Maybe the software industry should say "P2P doesn't steal content, people do."

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.