Cnet sued for distributing LimeWire

By | Published on Thursday 5 May 2011


Given the actual LimeWire case is taking a little while to get going, of more interest today is possibly a new lawsuit filed by film producer Alki David, who also runs online TV-on-demand service He has sued tech website CNET and its publisher CBS Interactive for copyright infringement on the basis they were the “main distributor” of the LimeWire software.

CNET has always had a section on its site where users can download free software, or free previews of premium software, and among the packages offered over the years have been various P2P technologies, including LimeWire.

According to Billboard, David says: “CBS Interactive and CNET have acted as the main distributor of LimeWire software and have promoted this and other P2P systems to profit from wide-scale copyright infringement”. The lawsuit reckons LimeWire was downloaded 220 million times from CNET since 2008, and that that amounts to 95% of the software’s distribution in that time.

Although holding the distributor of technology used to make illegal copies of copyrighted content liable for contributory infringement isn’t without precedent, a case like this would be pushing the boundaries of such infringement somewhat, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if the case got to court.

For its part, CBS has accused David of launching this litigation out of spite, after it and some other media companies won a copyright injunction against one of the film producer’s companies last year.

In a statement issued to Billboard, a CBS Interactive spokesman said: “CBS and a host of other media companies were awarded a court ordered injunction against one of Alki David’s companies last year with respect to that company’s improper use of copyrighted content. This latest move by Mr David is a desperate attempt to distract copyright holders like us from continuing our rightful claims. His lawsuit against CBS affiliates is riddled with inaccuracies, and we are confident that we will prevail, just as we did in the injunction hearing involving his company”.