Lawsuit Accusing CBS of Web Piracy Dropped

Alki David has dropped his lawsuit against CBS Interactive for offering P2P programs like Limewire on its subsidiary websites. But the legal dispute may not be over. In a notice of voluntary dismissal submitted to a California federal court, the plaintiff says he's in the process of filing a much bigger amended lawsuit.

In May, David, whose company FilmOn is the subject of ongoing litigation brought by major broadcast networks, led a number of hip-hop artists including members of 2 Live Crew and Ying Yang Twins in a legal action against CBS.

The plaintiffs claimed  that users on CBS websites such as CNET downloaded more than 220 million copies of LimeWire, which allegedly constituted 95% of all LimeWire downloads. The plaintiffs alleged that CBS received "massive amounts of revenue from P2P providers."

David's lawyer told us he purposely left off a list of materials alleged to be infringed by CBS because he knew he would need to amend those allegations at a later date. The judge later demanded it, and eventually, the plaintiffs came up with just one movie and five songs.

Now, the lawsuit is being voluntarily withdrawn, but according to the filing, “numerous artists and other copyright owners” have approached David about joining up for a new action.
David's lawyers report "assessing and analyzing these voluminous additional copyrighted works for inclusion in the amended suit."
If the case gets re-filed, the key question will still be whether helping to distribute file-sharing websites amounts to helping induce the piracy of copyrighted material.
Twitter: @eriqgardner