Napster clone Aimster has filed a lawsuit in a US district court asking for protection against the Record Industry Association of America.
The move comes as a desperate bid to avoid the same fate as Napster, after the RIAA sent out cease and desist letters to all companies running a similar operation to the file swapping firm.
The suit, filed in the District of New York, asks for a declaratory judgement that the company is not infringing on any copyrights. The RIAA has successfully sued Napster, and the repercussions, involving the filtering out of copyrighted songs, are killing the company.
Johnny Deep, president of Aimster, said the company was "asking the court for a ruling that says it would be wrong to sue us because we're doing nothing wrong".
"The RIAA sent a letter saying that Aimster is identical to Napster and we needed to block [file-sharing] in the same way that Napster does, or they would take additional legal remedies," he said.
But Deep's argument is that Aimster is different because file swapping is limited to friends found on the user's AOL Instant Messenger Buddy List, which the program piggy-backs on.
However a statement from the RIAA reveals that the organisation is over Napster and is now looking for other targets: "Emotionally, Napster is over," said the RIAA. "We've moved on already."
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