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.
Late last year, a guy named Alki David, who's known for his publicity stunts, put out a silly video attacking CBS, who was suing a company he ran. The video is long, and not very entertaining, other than demonstrating David's ego. The theory posited by David is so bizarre that we didn't post about the video when it came out. Basically, CBS had sued his company, FilmOn, which let people pay to access his retransmission of TV channels online. It's pretty easy to see why CBS and others believe that a service like FilmOn is infringing. However, David's theory was so out there that it was laughable: he claims CBS is suing him because CBS profits from piracy and doesn't want others getting into the game and competing. No, really. You can see the video here:
The logical trainwreck comes from the fact that CBS bought CNET a few years ago, and among CNET's properties is Download.com, which is probably the single most popular place for companies to offer up their software products for download. It's been that way for years. One of the many, many, many software products available to download from Download.com was Limewire, which (as you know) was recently found guilty of facilitating copyright infringement. David's argument is that CBS makes a ton of money from this setup. It doesn't. CBS may make a little bit of money from this, but it's not even a rounding error on CBS's bottom line. This is so far removed from CBS's business it's hard to do more than laugh at the accusations.
However, David has now taken it to another level, and together with some hip hop and R&B artists, is suing CBS for copyright infringement over this same issue. It seems pretty clear that this is a nuisance suit from David, who is upset about the lawsuits against his company -- which seem to have a lot stronger basis in law. I can't see how CBS has liability here. We're not even talking about standard third party liability here. CBS is a fourth or fifth party here, at best. The actual infringement comes from end users. Limewire is the tool they use. CBS's CNET's Download.com is the tool that Limewire uses. To blame CBS for that is a huge stretch. Also, unless I'm missing it, nowhere in the lawsuit filing embedded below do I see what specific copyrights of the plaintiffs CBS is accused of infringing upon...
Jay: Glenn Beck asking for a 9/12 movement isn't the least bit suspicious? Along with all of the other issues with the IRS right now? Ninja: I am honestly amused that the community is marking the comments of that "horse" guy as funny silverscarcat: Who takes Glenn Beck seriously? Jeff: did the 'new' comment color bars go away? dennis deems: ya I hadn't noticed until you said that. I don't recall seeing them the last couple days. Mike Masnick: new color bars ran into some big technical problems. :) we took them down while we fix them. fix is currently going through testing and should be back (and better than before) soon. dennis deems: yay! the color bars rule! Jeff: whew! Thought I was going... wait for it... "Color Blind" thanks! I'll be here all day... :-) Jay: @ssc I'm talking more in 2011 at the peak of TP hysteria TheResidentSkeptic: @mike - mod for your business model - CwF+RtB+DoP..too many miss the "Deliver On Promises" silverscarcat: Piracy will destroy software! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlniehU08ks Back in 1985 Ninja: Amusingly the opensource community gives a shit to piracy and it's flourishing. I'd like to see statistics for the activity within the open and the closed parts. dennis deems: Looks like it's really gonna happen. Dammit. :( http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/05/yahoo-will-purchase-tumblr-for-1-1-billion-according-to-wsj-report/ Ninja: omg... hopefully they'll leave it alone and avoid destroying it... I like tumblr dennis deems: I really can't understand why yahoo wants tumblr. the ethos is completely different and I would think irreconcilable to the ethos of yahoo if they integrate it into their own infrastructure, it's dead