Alki David back with a new lawsuit against CBS


If at first you don’t succeed, sue, sue again. Alki David had his TV streaming service shut down after multiple networks and stations sued his company, FilmOn, for copyright violations. Then he decided to sue CBS and its CNET subsidiary for alleged copyright violations. He withdrew that suit, but vowed to be back. Now he is.

David is joined in the re-filed suit by a larger group of singers, songwriters and performing artists, calling themselves the Justice for Artists Coalition, all represented by Baker Marquart LLP.

The complaint alleges that “CBS Interactive has quietly made billions by inducing the public to break the law, by providing them the file-sharing software and step-by-step guides, on exactly how to do it. No one has held Defendant accountable for this. Until now.”

The complaint further alleges that CBS Interactive and CNET maintained an ongoing enterprise of distributing peer to peer file-sharing software and DRM removal software, with many detailed reviews and tips on how to use the applications to copy known protected intellectual properties that include performances of Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Madonna and Britney Spears, as well as instructions on how to remove the electronic protections placed on digital music files that were meant to prevent their infringement.

“CBS Interactive is the Pirate Bay of Corporate America, have literally distributed Pirate Bay search and download tools and many others,” claimed David.

And if there was any doubt that he was seeking revenge…

“CBS sued my company FilmOn for not being a Cable Company when that’s exactly what it is. We deliver pay television to subscribers whereas CBS have in fact systematically gained market share over their competitors with their insidious infringement tactics.  FilmOn is a small company and it pays millions of dollars a year in license fees to channels, for the right to distribute them. I am livid at the hypocrisy of CBS and what it is doing to try and kill our dreams,” David charged.

The complaint alleges that CBS Interactive and CNET have “knowingly and willfully participated in and profited from the same massive infringement that engendered large copyright suits against Napster and LimeWire and that ultimately crippled them financially.  And they have done so with impunity. In fact, because they owned a number of the most heavily-visited sites in the world for downloading software of all types, Defendants did more to further this massive infringement than Napster or LimeWire ever could by falsely legitimizing it and popularizing it to the masses.”

LimeWire was shut down by court order in 2010. Napster was shut down for a few months in 2001 before agreeing to settle a lawsuit brought by various record labels and re-launch as a legitimate music service. It went through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is today owned by BestBuy.

RBR-TVBR observation: What’s different about the new lawsuit? Not much, except that Alki David is trying to cloak himself in the mantle of the Occupy Wall Street protestors. How that might help him isn’t clear.