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Download.com P2P infringement case dropped

sunveer

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For years, Download.com has been one of the most popular sites on the web for finding and (as the name suggests) downloading all kinds of software. And like any good download site would, Download.com features a leaderboard on its main page showing which programs people are downloading the most.

Two types of programs typically top that chart: free antivirus software and filesharing applications. A permanent fixture on that list was the uber-popular Limewire, the Gnutella client that ultimately found itself sued into oblivion by the RIAA. The Limewire story didn’t stop with the bill for $105 million in damages handed down in May of this year: Download.com found itself caught in the crossfire.

A group of musicians led by Nigerian-born digital media entrepreneur Alki David filed a lawsuit against Cnet’s parent company, CBS Interactive, claiming that it was complicit in Limewire’s infringement. The suit further stated that CBS-I, Cnet, and Download.com maintained a “business model that sought to profit directly” from the demand for Limewire, serving more than 220 million total copies to visitors since 2008. While that claim might be technically true, Download.com monetizes all the software it mirrors in the same way.

Today, perhaps after some much-needed reflection time and a prevailing wind of common sense, plaintiffs have finally decided to drop the case. Zeal for the suit seemed to be waning last month after plaintiffs presented claims for only half a dozen protected works.

As Wired points out, prosecuting attorney Adam Wolfson has left the door open for a second case that could be much nastier than the original. The idea that a media industry lawyer would lodge a second complaint with more dollars at stake is, well… as surprising as the idea that people used Limewire to illegally download music.

More at Wired
 
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