Alki David VS CNET: A Battle For Supremacy

Heir of the Coca-Cola Hellenic shipping and bottling company, Alki David, along with a handful of recording artists, has started a war against CNET’s Download.com. The lawsuit is based on their allegations that Download.com facilitated piracy by allowing people to download file-sharing clients. Now, the coalition is asking for an injunction that would force the popular portal to remove all of BitTorrent’s downloading clients.

One year ago, Alki David, supported by several recording artists, filed suit against CBS’s CNET, arguing that CNET (via Download.com) distributed file-sharing platforms such as uTorrent and LimeWire. Furthermore, the billionaire accused CNET of taking great advantage out of distributing those file-sharing platforms, while also providing with extensive software reviews (published on Download.com).

In their defence, CBS and CNET said that the reviews were simple opinions, and that the First Amendment is shielding them from being held responsible of inducing infringement.

Sounds fair enough, but not for Judge Dale Fischer who ruled that Download.com could be in trouble since it decided to distribute the software they made reviews on.

“Defendants here are alleged to have distributed specific P2P software, while simultaneously providing explicit commentary on that software’s effectiveness in infringing copyright. Such behavior moves beyond opinion into the realm of conduct and does not directly implicate any First Amendment issues,” he said.

But the battle was taken even further as the coalition’s new filing asks the court to force Download.com ban all BitTorrent clients. The motion points out that CBS and CNET supported BitTorrent by distributing over 65 million torrent clients, and that the companies “shamelessly promoted” their use for infringing purposes.

A hearing is scheduled for February 2013.