Lawsuits continue to fly in the world of online music. The ultra-litigious Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is now suing Aimster after driving Scour out of business and crippling Napster.
A separate lawsuit was filed by AOL Time Warner, which declined to be party to the RIAA suit because it wanted to broaden its attack on Aimster to include not just music files but also video and software.
"Aimster is Napster all over again. Beneath the added bells and whistles lies the same service that Napster provides," said Cary Sherman, the RIAA's general counsel.
The "bells and whistles" probably refer to the fact that users can reate "buddy lists" using AOL's Instant Messaging.
This time the RIAA did not start the legal battle. Aimster, in fact, filed suit against the music companies. It believes its "buddy lists" of small private networks legalise its service and it wanted a ruling to that effect.
Its CEO, Johnny Deep, said at the time that the only way it could avoid expensive litigation was to launch such a pre-emptive strike. It went to court after receiving a letter from the RIAA threatening legal action if it did not close down its service.
Yet another suit is in the works as the Motion Picture Association of America was expected to join the fray. A spokesperson said the organisation was following the situation closely.
Aimster would not comment on the new suits as it had not yet been served with them.
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