Aimster gets full Napster treatment

Aimster saw its legal battles grow as music publishers, songwriters and major movie studios sued the file-swapping service, which piggybacks on America Online Inc.'s popular instant-messaging software, in two courts last week.

The lawsuits did not come to light until Tuesday, when the National Music Publishers' Association announced its legal challenge in a press release. Songwriters and music publishers filed a class-action suit Thursday against the Cohoes, New York-based company in Manhattan federal court, following a similar suit they filed against music-swapping brethren Napster.

As expected, Columbia TriStar Pictures Inc., The Walt Disney Co., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures Corp., Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. and Universal City Studios Inc. sued Aimster in a Los Angeles federal court Wednesday, according to the Motion Picture Association. Warner Bros. Inc. sued Aimster in a separate action.

The music publishers and songwriters charge that the operators of Aimster have promoted the service as an even more efficient, peer-to-peer music sharing service than Napster. In a press release, the group notes that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Napster infringes on music copyrights, forcing the company to block unauthorized music on its service. The group suing Aimster is composed of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who co-wrote the classic songs "Hound Dog" and "Stand by Me;" Irwin Z. Robinson; the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization; Criterion Music; and Famous Music.

Aimster also is being sued by the Recording Industry Association of America and AOL Time Warner, which charges Aimster is illegally using AOL's registered AIM trademark for its instant-messenger service.

Aimster's software piggybacks on instant-messaging applications to allow users to trade files with other people on their so-called buddy lists. The company sued the RIAA first, requesting a declaratory judgment on its legality from a court in Albany, New York.

Aimster spokesman Johnny Deep maintains that it does not have the right or responsibility to monitor or control the files or information exchanged among its users. He has said that the name of the file-swapping service refers to a nickname for the woman on the site's homepage.

On June 22, Aimster won a minor victory when U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn denied the record labels' request to transfer the case to Manhattan or try their own suit there. "Defendants include some of the largest corporations in the country while plaintiff is a recently formed computer software company, the very existence of which is endangered by this lawsuit," the judge noted in his order.

Deep noted that several of the record companies and motion-picture companies are owned by the same parent, including AOL Time Warner.

This story courtesy of The Industry Standard http://www.thestandard.com.au

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ronna Abramson

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?