The RIAA is so petulant that Morpheus and Grokster weren’t held responsible for the piracy committed by their programs’ users that they are suing the Morpheus creator again – this time for a service that wasn’t even launched. Weep:
- The Recording Industry Assn. of America issued a brief statement in response to questions about the lawsuit, saying only that “this is another step in our ongoing litigation against Streamcast, a company that we believe is responsible for widespread copyright infringement.”
Streamcast executives said they were outraged. They said the company tried to develop an online radio service three years ago, abandoning the effort when it couldn’t get licenses from the labels. Now, they complained, they’re being sued for legitimate steps they took to prepare for the would-be venture.
The record labels are “sore losers,” said Michael Weiss, chief executive of Streamcast. “It looks like they’re coming after us for exploring another legal business model, one that we didn’t even launch.”
At issue is a computerized collection of music that Streamcast — previously known as MusicCity.com Inc. and Infinite Music Inc. — compiled in 1999 and 2000.
The lawsuit alleges that Streamcast acquired CDs with thousands of songs, then converted them into a digital database on hard drives and other storage devices. The company made multiple copies of the songs and the database, all without the permission of the copyright owners, the lawsuit alleges.
….The lawsuit accuses Streamcast of distributing songs and copies of its database — without saying how or to whom — as well as transmitting the songs digitally for a commercial purpose. It also alleges that Streamcast withheld critical information about the database and its actions until last year, when the information was disclosed in the industry’s first lawsuit.
….Potter, a frequent opponent of the RIAA, had a different reaction: “The record companies have a history of suing people that they just don’t like.” [LA Times]