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Silly Promotional Stunt Lawsuit Against CBS For 'Profiting From Piracy' Dropped

from the there-goes-that-plan dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about an absolutely ridiculous lawsuit from a guy named Alki David. Lots of sources reported on the story as if it was serious, but we assumed it was a publicity stunt lawsuit. David's startup was being sued by broadcasters, such as CBS, for trying to retransmit TV channels online. So, David first put together a silly and ridiculous video insisting that the reason CBS was suing him was because it was profiting from piracy and wanted to keep that racket going or something. The crux of the claim was that CBS owns CNET. CNET runs download.com. Limewire was distributed via download.com. Limewire was found guilty of copyright infringement. Thus, CBS profits from piracy. That's a stretch by any imagination, but David took it even further and sued CBS. We noted at the time that the lawsuit seemed unlikely to get very far, and that's definitely the case.

The lawsuit has been dropped entirely. Of course, most of the hot air deflated from the suit when David and his co-plaintiffs had trouble listing out any actual copyrights that were infringed. They finally dug up one movie and five songs, but the original strong claims were severely weakened. David's lawyer insists that they'll refile the lawsuit with more people and more infringement claims, but I still can't see the lawsuit getting anywhere at all.


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  1.  
    identicon
    CNET Nut, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    TechDirt Dirt

    Of course your distain for the Alki David Lawsuit against CNET has nothing at all to do with your co-founder of TechDirt's own Floor64 Dennis Yang former CNET Vice President?

    Oh, lest we forget that Your Techdirt/Floor64 Technology Director Michael Costanza who was the Head of Software Development at CNET. 

    Your two highest ranking employees other than yourself

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    CNET Nut, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    TechDirt Dirt

    Of course your distain for the Alki David Lawsuit against CNET has nothing at all to do with your co-founder of TechDirt's own Floor64 Dennis Yang former CNET Vice President?

    Oh, lest we forget that Your Techdirt/Floor64 Technology Director Michael Costanza who was the Head of Software Development at CNET. 

    Your two highest ranking employees other than yourself

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    CNET Nut, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    TechDirt Dirt

    Of course your distain for the Alki David Lawsuit against CNET has nothing at all to do with your co-founder of TechDirt's own Floor64 Dennis Yang former CNET Vice President?

    Oh, lest we forget that Your Techdirt/Floor64 Technology Director Michael Costanza who was the Head of Software Development at CNET. 

    Your two highest ranking employees other than yourself

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    CNET Nut, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    TechDirt Dirt

    Of course your distain for the Alki David Lawsuit against CNET has nothing at all to do with your co-founder of TechDirt's own Floor64 Dennis Yang former CNET Vice President?

    Oh, lest we forget that Your Techdirt/Floor64 Technology Director Michael Costanza who was the Head of Software Development at CNET. 

    Your two highest ranking employees other than yourself

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    CNET Nut, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    TechDirt Dirt

    Of course your distain for the Alki David Lawsuit against CNET has nothing at all to do with your co-founder of TechDirt's own Floor64 Dennis Yang former CNET Vice President?

    Oh, lest we forget that Your Techdirt/Floor64 Technology Director Michael Costanza who was the Head of Software Development at CNET. 

    Your two highest ranking employees other than yourself

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    CNET Nut, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    TechDirt Dirt

    Of course your distain for the Alki David Lawsuit against CNET has nothing at all to do with your co-founder of TechDirt's own Floor64 Dennis Yang former CNET Vice President?

    Oh, lest we forget that Your Techdirt/Floor64 Technology Director Michael Costanza who was the Head of Software Development at CNET. 

    Your two highest ranking employees other than yourself

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:14am

    Re: TechDirt Dirt

    Stop hiting F5!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:41am

    Re: TechDirt Dirt

    Apparently even the most dedicated shills can still try to twist a completely bust accusation in their favour.

    Yeah, so what if former CNET employees work at TechDirt? I fail to see how that makes a complete dud of a lawsuit any more viable.

    Or are you pretending that this lawsuit wasn't dropped before it even reached court?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 3:03am

    Re: TechDirt Dirt

    You know that Alki is short for alcoholic in German right? True story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 3:42am

    Re: TechDirt Dirt

    Of course your distain for the Alki David Lawsuit against CNET has nothing at all to do with your co-founder of TechDirt's own Floor64 Dennis Yang former CNET Vice President?

    Oh, lest we forget that Your Techdirt/Floor64 Technology Director Michael Costanza who was the Head of Software Development at CNET.

    Your two highest ranking employees other than yourself


    Ah, conspiracy theories. I do wonder how long you've been saving that up. First off, neither of those guys have worked at CNET in nearly a decade, and I don't think either of them has any lingering loyalty for CNET and/or CBS (who bought the company long after both had left). Furthermore, Dennis hasn't worked for us in quite some time either, which is why I really do wonder how long you've been hanging on to that tidbit of info.

    I didn't discuss the lawsuit with either of them. My "disdain" for the lawsuit is based on the fact that it's a dumb lawsuit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 4:06am

    You should have read Eriq Gardner's story

    According to this article, the suit is being dropped because “numerous artists and other copyright owners” have approached David about joining up for a new action.

    Somehow, I doubt we've seen the last of this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 4:50am

    OMG the image that cames to mind about "CNET Nut" was a guy desperate hitting the return key, tap! tap! tap! tap! tap!.

    To much caffeine?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:34am

    Re:

    Keyboard cat strikes again - lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    no not caffine more alchohol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anon, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    Isn't Alki David like a bilionaire? If so, I'm sure he can afford a few stunt/publicity lawsuits. I'm guessing that's what is going on here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    AJBarnes, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Well, may have a point

    Let's see... Sony owns recording companies that sells recordings. They also make and sell computers and CR-ROM's capable of ripping and illegally sharing those same recordings. So, isn't Sony also getting paid by both sides?

    And whatever happened to the blank media tax that is levied on every single blank CD-ROM or DVD sold? I hear absolutely NONE of that tax money is sent back to the artists... Someone do an investigation on that scam. How many millions have been misappropriated by this so-called tax to just pad the wallets of the RIAA?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Regarding the Boy Scouts at CNET, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Both hadn't left until mid-2005, that isn't a decade. CNET had virtually monopolistic p2p software distribution deals. The Limewire, Kazaa, Morpheus software was uploaded to upload.com where the software was tested and checked for functionality. The CNET editors had full editorial control over the copy and supplied pictures.

    CNET had a button widget program that was used by all of the major p2p software companies. If you landed on Limewire, the "DownLoad Now" button wisked you to CNET's download.com LimeWire page.

    CNET had a complete selection of tutorial videos using copyrighted songs as examples, instructional guides suggesting specific copyrighted songs and artists to download and editors review's pitching the software with copyright infringing songs. ( Go look at the review of "LuckyWire" to see it being compared to "Limewire" using Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" as the test subject) CNET just added those new "Disclaimers" and CNET now has the software download now buttons for p2p software roll offsite.
    http://download.cnet.com/LuckyWire/3000-2196_4-10965710.html

    CNET had numerous file sharing software tests using real copyrighted band names with live inline links to the software. Look at this one that is still live today after CNET's purge of them a few months ago.
    http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6450_7-5020828-1.html
    Guess they missed that one.

    Also, ask your buds about CNET's lucrative [Pay Per Download] program that pitted companies against each other to bid up the fee per download. CNET's download.com still uses it.
    https://upload.cnet.com/2706-21_5-979-3.html#101
    The P2P software made CNET massive income from the PPD program. CNET was not like File Hippo or Source Forge. CNET made tens of millions from those downloads.

    And the big fat conflict of interest that Shelby Bonnie was on the Warner Music Group Board of Directors since 2004 as the Warner Music Group was suing 8,9,10 year old kids for using. The same software that Bonnie as CEO and CNET Chairman was sending out 5 million downloads each week for in the mid 2000's.

    Not to mention Jarl Mohn, CNET's longtime officer and board member since 2003, being spokesperson and a primary investor in Azureus Vuze. With Jarl Mohn rising to CNET's Chairman of the Board after Bonnie left in 2006 due to that messy stock backdating scandal.

    With good old Jarl also being a board member and investor in ArtistDirect/MediaDefender at the same damn time as being a CNET board member and officer! No conflict of interest there, huh? Google that bit of trivia. Oh, really look at Jarl's career as CEO, Board Member, etc in MTV Viacom.

    Jarl's close friend and associate from his CEO of MTV days, former CEO of Viacom Jonathan Volgen was the money force behind ArtistDirect's purchase of MediaDefender ( Google This; Susan & Jonathan Dolgen- Principle, Wood River Ventures and MediaDefender)

    Jonathan Dolgen was senior advisor to ArtistDirect's MediaDefender as Jarl Mohn was sitting on ArtistDirects board approving such deals. Damn, almost forgot, Jarl Mohn was ArtistDirects/MediaDefender's CEO and Azureus/Vuze Chairman and investor AND Cnet officer and Board Member? WTF

    Why don't you make absolutely certain that CNET wasn't passing along downloader info to the RIAA and MediaDefender before you defend them. Don't think it's impossible. Someone's Azureus Vuze was given a walk by the RIAA and they got something BIG and JUICY in return.

    And what do you think Shelby Bonnie was doing over at Warner Music Group as he was CNET CEO and Chairman for 2 years? Doing Karaoke? Was it Bonnie's talent of letting a company hemorrhage billions that led the RIAA's Veloceraptor Bronfman to to Chose Bonnie as Warner Music Group's Board of Director on the Audit Committee?

    So glad that you profess your undying affection and support for these people. Ask Kara Swisher about Hilary Rosen's connection to all this. She knows.

    Google these press release happy companies. You are in for a BIG SURPRISE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Regarding CNET's Boy Scouts, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Want a 50 Gig file of this info so you can pour over it like a lovesick girl reading the new Twilight book? It makes for great reading that AOL Time Warner was distributing the CNET software and REVIEWS with the Copyrighted songs co-branded AOL as Warner was suing kids for using it.

    Look up http://www.aolcom.cnet.com (Real SubDomain)in the Internet Wayback Machine. Ohhhhh so that's why Shelby Bonnie was on the Warner Music Group Board.

    Archive.org link (Deal from 1998-2006) Right up through MGM vs Grokster.

    http://wayback.archive.org/web/20010315000000*/http://aolcom.cnet.com

    If CNET wasnt making any money from the "Downloads" how could they pay Warner 3-4 million dollars each year for the right to do it through AOL. Maybe they just loved to lose money?

    So Warner was suing kids AS the RIAA and the MPAA as AOL Time Warner was being paid 14.5 million dollars by CNET to distribute the exact software with CNET's exact copyrighted song spewing reviews.

    And you support and offer undying love to Sumner Redstone's 20 Billion Dollar Media Empire?
    Jesus Christ! Are you in on it too? You should be exposing this rather than kissing their ass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Woahhhhhhh, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re: TechDirt Dirt

    You gotta read the new comments on the Alki David CBS Lawsuit Article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Avid Googler, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    I have been googling these names for an hour. What the Hell is going on here? Masnick has been sticking up for c/net thoughtout this entire case and he's been secretly supporting all this behind the scenes crap? c/net seems to have been deeply tied into mediadefender all along. Were c/net insiders passing along the peer to peer downloader's info to mediadefender? Was Azureus a fake system like the stupid fake mediadefender video entrapment site. It is odd that c/net instituted a strict policy against spyware but Azureus and later Vuze was known to have spyware. Were the folks at c/net distributing Spyware for MediaDefender all along?

    And that Jarl Mohn guy is not only right in the thick of it, he is Viacom's golden boy! Jarl Mohn was a key investor in now bankrupt Veoh, the fail Youtube killer, lol. Was the MediaDefender attack on the very successful Veoh competitor Revision3 ordered by Investors in both Veoh and
    MediaDefender? Yes,it is certainly possible. Google those names together! Jarl Mohn Viacom MTV. Masnick how could you of all people be oblivious to this? Are you a traitor to the cause?

    Michael Masnick, how could you miss this c/net Mediadefender connection at the time? How did you miss c/net's founder being on the board of Warner Music Group while he was running c/net until 2006? Then continuing to be on the Warner Music Group board until today? Torrent freak reported it three weeks ago, we all know that you are a big fan of TF. And you still support c/net to your dying breath?

    Alki David is claiming to have evidence that c/net made 10s of millions if not 100s of millions distributing Kazaa and the like in the pay per each download program. Your techdirt c/net insider there told you that distributing the peer to peer software was a charitable act. Masnick you should try to get a better look into that crystal ball again.

    Alki David is talking about putting RIAA staffers on the stand. With former Mediadefender personnel to find out what really happened and you of all people are rallying against this?

    C'mon everyone, Google these names, see for yourself its all plain as day, and send a message to Mike Masnick to write a real story about why he is supporting a company with obvious ties to the RIAA and Mediadefender.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re:

    Holy crap, the tinfoil is strong in this one. I think I just got whiplash from all of the conspiracies this guy is slinging at once.

    And I'd laugh my ass off if CNET made more money off of Kazaa software downloads than Kazaa did in its entirety...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Torrent Freak didn't think it was "TinFoil". Care to "Weight In" your TechDirtness?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, it certainly is tinfoil. You didn't state any facts, you just pointed out some minor strings and raised 5000 questions about them.

    It's the common mark of any conspiracy nut, and a solid reason to ignore almost everything you say. Hell, I haven't even bothered to decipher your actual points. For all I know, you could be pro-piracy through some string of your random ranting, but your "side" doesn't make you any more coherent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Alki David, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: TechDirt Dirt

    The word "dumb" is an odd choice to describe the suit. Have you actually looked at the video which only scrapes the top of the mountain of proof that Cnet knowingly promoted the use of file sharing for the illegal distribution of copyright.

    That Cnet almost exclusively distributed all the known notorious sharing applications. Of which it still does despite court orders.

    Have you ever been in made financed or lived through a creative endeavour like a movie production or the writing of a book or the production of a song?

    Something you love and to see it being stolen randomly and en mass without any thought for the owner of creator?

    I am a rich man. I do not need to position myself against a great American institution or earn a few dollars from a lawsuit that will cost me millions to see to completion.

    Dumb only reflects the insight of the cynic or perhaps the motivation from which the insult is born.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 2:39am

    Re: Re: Re: TechDirt Dirt

    The word "dumb" is an odd choice to describe the suit. Have you actually looked at the video which only scrapes the top of the mountain of proof that Cnet knowingly promoted the use of file sharing for the illegal distribution of copyright.

    Yes. I watched it. It's ridiculous and makes you look silly and petty in my opinion. I stand by my assertion that the lawsuit is dumb.

    That Cnet almost exclusively distributed all the known notorious sharing applications. Of which it still does despite court orders.

    On what liability theory are you basing your claim?

    Have you ever been in made financed or lived through a creative endeavour like a movie production or the writing of a book or the production of a song?

    I produce a ton of content. Every day. I've written a book and I've written nearly 40,000 blog posts.

    Something you love and to see it being stolen randomly and en mass without any thought for the owner of creator?


    I make all my works public domain. People are free to do with it what they want. No one has "stolen" anything.

    Though, I find it an interesting choice of words for you to use "stolen" when you're facing a lawsuit concerning your company, in which it appears that others accuse you of doing what you now accuse them of doing.

    I am a rich man.

    Ooooooooh. How proud of yourself you must be.

    I do not need to position myself against a great American institution or earn a few dollars from a lawsuit that will cost me millions to see to completion.

    I never suggested this was about the dollars. In fact, I suggested the opposite, because I don't see how you have any chance of getting any money out of this lawsuit at all.

    Dumb only reflects the insight of the cynic or perhaps the motivation from which the insult is born.


    No, "dumb" is merely my opinion of your lawsuit, the reasons for which I have explained.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Alki, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: TechDirt Dirt

    The point about being rich is to say that I don't need the headache of this suit and it is a headache. Dealing with artists and managing expectations. Why are you so vitriolic in your attitude?

    Your works may be public domain but for others it is not. Especially ones that cost a great deal of time money and effort to create.

    When people invest their hard earned money into a film project or to develop software or whatever they expect a return. when they see their material being distributed to people for free and often before it has even been released its infuriating. And yes, it is theft.

    if you looked at the video and contemplated the few facts that are a sample of the many and you did so with an open open mind and still did not see the merit in my case you must be blind or have a different agenda other than reporting on the truth.

    As for my lawsuit with the Networks for retransmission that is far from over. Those facts are very complex if you have time to understand that I suggest we have tea and discuss it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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