Kazaa Files Pointless Countersuit


After judge Stephen V. Wilson dismissed Sherman Networks' claim that it could not be sued by the RIAA because it was not a U.S. corporation, Sherman Networks, distributors of the popular P2P program Kazaa, decided to stage a Custerian last stand and file a countersuit against the entertainment industry as a whole for monopolistic practices.  According to this CNN.com article:

Sharman's counterclaim alleges copyright misuse, monopolization, and deceptive acts and practices. "In seeking to simultaneously stop illegal copying and to maintain their dominant position in the distribution of musical and movie content, the industry plaintiffs have obscenely overreached," Sharman said.
Yeah, because that's going to work.  Read more, and maybe shake your head in sympathetic pity a bit.Sherman Networks goes on to rant:
It seeks a jury trial, damages, attorney fees and a permanent injunction against the entertainment industry so that it can't "enforce any of their United States copyrights against any person or entity." Sharman said the entertainment companies are behind the times and don't realize that consumers need not buy CDs, DVDs or videotapes to enjoy music or films.

It's an interesting theoretical argument (ok, not really), but not one grounded in any sort of legality.  This strikes me as the litigous equivalent of a child's temper tantrum, and all told, about as productive.  I've seen better arguments posited by paranoid schizophrenics who refuse to take their meds.  Asking for the court to put an injunction on the ability of the entertainment industry to enforce their copyrights ... might as well ask the judge to hum Dixie while performing filatio on Kazaa users.  

I think it's pretty much agreed that the RIAA has some serious flaws in its resistance to technological advancement, but this opposite extreme is exactly the kind of nonsense that makes reformists look bad.  Like that idiot "dude" that ran Napster before them, Kazaa has managed to take a reasonable discussion about the business of entertainment, and break it down to the subtle legal maneuverings of a Kamakazi pilot.  For once I agree with the RIAA's response.

In a statement, the Recording Industry Association of America called Sharman's arguments "laughable."
That's putting it nicely.- Elysium


It seems like a much more probable argument would be that the FastTrack network has legitimate uses, via Alternet, and therefore is legal. Like lockpicks, or knives. I thought that was thier argument at first, but the CNN article paints a different picture.

The CNET Article seems to think they are suing for anti-trust, that they colluded to drive online competitors, aka Alternet, out of business. Hmm.