Artists Vs. CNET: The Battle Continues

Artists Vs. CNET: The Battle ContinuesBack in November 2012, we’ve informed our readers about a lawsuit involving Alki David, alongside with several R&B and hip-hop artists, and CNET. On that regard, we continue the story with this follow-up.

Headed by Alki David, a handful of artists sued CBSI’s subsidiary CNET for inducing piracy by offering advice on how to use file-sharing platforms. In July 2012, a federal judge agreed that CNET’s actions should be scrutinized; in November 2012, the plaintiffs asked for a preliminary injunction.

In response, CBS Interactive filed a 25-page memorandum last Friday, arguing that:

“Any suggestion that reporting on the distribution of authorized, noninfringing music through the BitTorrent protocol evidences intent to induce infringement is simply absurd.”

“The injunction Plaintiffs seek would substantially damage CBSI’s business of providing a comprehensive index of software applications and editorial information about them,” the company’s lawyers wrote.

“By contrast, the injunction would not prevent either downloads of BitTorrent client software, or potential infringement of Plaintiffs’ works. IfCBSI were enjoined from linking to sites that offer downloads of BitTorrent clients, those sites would still remain available to the public and would still be easily found by a simple search on Google — albeit without the warning against infringement that CBSI provides.”

“Moreover, the public interest would be damaged by denying legitimate and truthful information about a pervasive technology, as well as by impending noninfringing uses,” the memorandum continues.

CBSI also highlighted the fact that the plaintiffs have failed to prove not just the ownership of works, but also the irreversible damage done by CNET, and that “vague and broad requests for injunctive relief aimed targeting speech or the press raise serious First Amendment issues.”

The entire memorandum can be read here.

“CNET is not going to give an award or any other validation to a Product which CBS is challenging as illegal, other Networks believe to be illegal and one court has already found to violate the copyright act in its application. Beyond that, CNET will cover every other product and service on the planet,” a CBS spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, regarding the company’s decision to prohibit CNET from publishing reviews about technologies like Dish Network-owned AutoHopper and Aereo’s TV streaming device.

More on this as soon as we find out. Stay tuned!