cbss Injunction prevents CNET from reporting on P2P tech

CBS has replied to an injunction prohibiting any of its subsidiaries from reporting on P2P technology.  CBS is arguing that their site, namely CNET, has the right to report about a technology without it necessarily being an endorsement of such.

Last week CBS Interactive, which is the owner of the technology site CNET, argued their right to report on P2P technology.  There is currently a legal injunction against the CBSI and its affiliates preventing them from writing about P2P, bittorrents, or any type of file sharing technology.  The injunction states that by reporting on such technology it would constitute as a promotion of such technology.

A legal team representing many Rap, Hip-Hop and R&B artists filed the injunction request against CBSI.  Another powerful entity behind the injunction is billionaire Alki David who serves as chairman of Filmon.com.

The artist’s representatives actually began their claim in May 2011 when the injunction was filed in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.  The injunction stated that when any given CBSI journalist from download.com (now download.CNET.com) covers P2P or any other file sharing technology, they are essentially promoting piracy among their readers.  The artists made their claims based on examples of editorials and videos on file sharing software explaining just how the software operated.

The injunction reads in part:

“The CBS Defendants received massive amounts of revenue from P2P providers on ‘Pay per download’ basis and also from advertising revenues generated by advertisements placed on the download screen for P2P software.  The CBS Defendants’ business model has been so dependent upon P2P and file-sharing that entire pages of Download.com are designed to specifically list and categorize these software offerings.”

CBSI’s rebuttal against the injunction says by forcing CNET not to report on any type of technology would be tantamount to censorship.  Moreover, CBSI stressed such an injunction would never prevent anyone from downloading such software in the first place.

CBSI writes:

“Plaintiffs have presented no reliable evidence of direct infringement of any work by use of the BitTorrent technology they accuse…If CBSI were enjoined from linking to sites that offer downloads of BitTorrent clients, those sites would still remain available to the public and would still be easily found by a simple search on Google – albeit without the warning against infringement that CBSI provides.”

A copy of the injunction rebuttal from CBS may be seen here.

An all-out war on P2P or any type of file sharing has been going on for some time now and particularly the past few years. While P2p sites such as The Pirate Bay have somehow managed to continue operating, others popular sites have not fared so well.  Kim Dotcom of New Zealand had his own home raided in some elaborate attempt to seize some kind of ‘doomsday device’ that was later proved to be a fantasy made up by the U.S. Department of Justice   Later the New Zealand courts ruled the raid to be illegal but Dotcom’s file sharing site, Megaupload.com, is still being held by the U.S. government.