In May, FilmOn founder Alki David and a group of artists sued CNET’s Download.com and parent company CBS. The copyright holders accused the CBS-owned websites of several copyright-related offenses for their role in distributing LimeWire and other P2P software. This week the artists dropped their case, threatening to replace it with an even bigger case in the near future.
When a coalition of copyright holders sued CBS Interactive and CNET Networks earlier this year they claimed the companies profited from mass copyright infringement by distributing P2P software.
“The CBS Defendants have been the main distributor of LimeWire software and have promoted this and other P2P systems in order to directly profit from wide-scale copyright infringement. Internet users have downloaded more then [sic] 220 million copies from Defendants’ website, found at Download.com, since 2008,” the original complaint read.
The complaint further noted that Download.com is still promoting various other P2P-applications which the majority of people use to infringe copyrights. By promoting this software in return for money and by showing users how to download, the CBS defendants are willingly contributing to copyright infringement, the plaintiffs claimed.
FilmOn’s Alki David, the driving force behind the suit who himself was sued by CBS Interactive for copyright infringement, seemed determined to put up a fight. Nonetheless, the suing parties decided to voluntarily dismiss the case yesterday, as Wired reports.
On the surface this appears to be good news for CNET and the other defendants, but the opposite is true. As it turns out many copyright holders have approached Alki David with a request to be added to the lawsuit.
“Since the time of the filing of the original Complaint by plaintiffs in this case, numerous artists and other copyright owners have approached plaintiff Alki David about potentially joining this lawsuit as plaintiffs,” the plaintiff’s attorney’s write to the District Court judge.
“As a result, the current plaintiffs intend to amend and are in the process of working to amend this suit to add further plaintiffs and additional copyrighted works,” the notice adds.
Since it takes quite a bit of time to add the new parties and potentially thousands of copyrighted works to the complaint, the plaintiffs decided to dismiss the current case for now. They expect to file a broader complaint on behalf of many more copyright holders in the near future.