Record labels to sue SorceForge, Limewire, Vuze, Morpheus

The Societe; civile des Producteurs de Phonogrammes en France, or the SPPF, have been given the go-ahead to sue four US companies for developing P2P applications with the intention of distributing illegal content, TorrentFreak reports. The four applications in question are Vuze, Limewire, Mopheus and Shareaza. Shareaza is hosted by the open source development platform SourceForge, so the SPPF have decided to sue SorceForge for being responsible for the distribution of the application. According to recent French legislation, all P2P software must have a built-in feature to block the transfer of unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works.

The SPPF's argument is that these applications permit the distribution of copyrighted works. This is in contrast to the US's laws, which state that as long as the developers don't support the use of their software for copyright infringement then no action can be taken. Vuze has already appealed against the go-ahead, and is currently suing the SPPF for destroying the company's reputation based on false and harmful allegations made by the organisation. In a statement, Vuze CEO Gilles BianRosa responded that the claims are "simply wrong", and that the business fully complies with both French and American laws. The lawsuit against the SPPF has been given the green light by a different French court, and recently denied the SPPF's attempts to stop these claims.

By far the most worrying aspect of this lawsuit is the inclusion of SourceForge. Instead of going after the developers of the application itself, the industry has decided to sue one of the largest contributors towards open-source. How this will make an impact on SourceForge remains to be seen.

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Doesn't limewire have a TU where it just searches for the content and lets you connect to download? Why would they get sued for that?

I think they will have a hard time with SourceForge but as for the rest it's about **** time.

Pirates are right around spammers as far as scum of the Earth is concerned. There is no justification for stealing and it's about time we stopped enabling it. I'm sure the argument to that will be "better sue ISPs and operating system vendors too" which is horribly short-sighted since ISPs and operating systems enable so much more than illegal file sharing.

I would really prefer that individual pirates face the consequences for their theft rather than a service like Limewire since it does have (however small) legitimate uses. However, it seems that this can't be done in a responsible and ethical way so the next logical step is to take down the network that is used overwhelmingly for illegal file sharing.

Will this cause pirates to run out and buy their music on CD's? No, of course not. Likely they will find another way that the law will have to catch up with and the cycle continues. However, by not doing anything it sends the message that it's Ok and that's a real problem, especially in Canada where people get the idea that since there's no punishment, it's not a crime.

C_Guy said,
I think they will have a hard time with SourceForge but as for the rest it's about **** time.

Pirates are right around spammers as far as scum of the Earth is concerned. There is no justification for stealing and it's about time we stopped enabling it. I'm sure the argument to that will be "better sue ISPs and operating system vendors too" which is horribly short-sighted since ISPs and operating systems enable so much more than illegal file sharing.

I would really prefer that individual pirates face the consequences for their theft rather than a service like Limewire since it does have (however small) legitimate uses. However, it seems that this can't be done in a responsible and ethical way so the next logical step is to take down the network that is used overwhelmingly for illegal file sharing.

Will this cause pirates to run out and buy their music on CD's? No, of course not. Likely they will find another way that the law will have to catch up with and the cycle continues. However, by not doing anything it sends the message that it's Ok and that's a real problem, especially in Canada where people get the idea that since there's no punishment, it's not a crime.

Repeat after me "it is not stealing".

That's right! Because once you take the torrents away, the download generation are going to start flocking to the music stores to hand their pocket money over for songs that they will get bored of within a month.

HAH I guess SPPF and RIAA-like organisations have given up trying to shut the pirate bay and like sites down, so now they decide to try and take sourceforge, just cos a few out of their millions of hosted open-source programs may or may not be used for illegal downloads. Might as well sue the USA for inventing the freakin internet in the first place.

So, they are going after sourceforge because they hosted a file of semi-legality? If they are going to ignore personal intent of using something illegally and charge those that provide the legal services that pirates abuse, how about go a little higher and go after the ISPs? It is logical is it not? Without the internet, these apps wouldn't exist. Who cares about information, progress, and all that when there is money to be made!

I would like to add to this point.

Without electricity, the person could never had burned, ripped, or done anything with the content. Let's all go back to the stone age! Sue the power companies! They powered the computer that shared the illegal content!

Man. The idiocy of people and companies nowadays is just mind boggling. But then again, it isn't new. In the same sort of issue, VCR manufactorers were sued to stop building VCRs because they could record and potentially duplicate movies and television content. Home movies, in all its forms, often provides the studios more money then the movie did in the boxoffice! They would have destroyed this massive amount of income if they had the chance. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

I can't see what legal ground they even have to sue. Unless these companies have some kind of physical business located outside of the United States, then there is no way they can sue them. If their business is run in America, then American laws apply, not the French laws.

How about suing Microsoft, Yahoo and Google for providing email software and services which one can use to send and receive copyrighted content as attachments. They can't do it, cos I think they don't have the BA**S to pick on big giants. Sounds like a typical hunting ground strategy, go after the weakest and/or helpless.

If RIAA files this case, all I see is wasted time, money and paper (RIAA please realize that you will contribute for an ~0.00001% of global warming with this wasted paper). I have already wasted my share or time on this...

Let them sue, they obviously have the euros to burn. I also agreed not to infringe on copyrighted material when I installed my torrent, now I know why. SourceForge kicks, looks like we may have to rename french fries again.

Nooo, not Vuze and SourceForge To be honest, it's companies like this that make me feel a little dirty for having a torrent downloader on my computer at all, despite the fact that I use it only for legal activities.

Also, ROFL at trying to sue SourceForge. That'll get thrown out immediately.

Hah, sue Sourceforge. Do these people even know what Sourceforge is about?
Why not sue all ISP's for allowing people onto the internet to download this material? **** off back to your hole tbh.
:(

Someone out there wasn't aware of these apps and their illegal uses until this news post came out. Therefore, neowin is a pirate enabler! SUE SUE!

Vuze has made itself more and more of a high quality legal media service since its old days of being known as Azureus. Limewire, well, sad to say not much "legal" comes out of that when most people I know have 3,300+ songs illegally downloaded from there. Then there are its open source alternatives as well that really cant be tracked down, sued, or shut down, just because like a previous poster said, once the main devs are gone, someone else will pick up the code and continue. Grooveshark, however is a good idea for those that are legally minded, and keep an open internet connection.
But to sue a software distribution company like sourceforge is just asking for trouble, as they can not control every single thing that is posted, let alone since the devs of those applications themselves can't even control what people use them for, it really is like suing a car manufacturer because people speed or race each other using their cars. Torrents are the newest and biggest thing to file transfers, it cuts back on the stress of a single server getting millions of hits (think Firefox 3 launch day, if only they had a torrent in those first few hours.) and lets users feel like they are giving back to others at the same time. It is not all for bad use because I find myself downloading a new distro of linux through it or using it to share my own work. Even then, I have found myself illegally downloading a CD that I already own, just so I have it on my PC without having to take it out of my car, Or even download a game I already own so I don't mess up the CD, or so I don't have to deal with DRM.

They need to embrace and improve torrents and p2p because that is what people want, they want what they want and they want it now! without hassles, without DRM, and without being sued!

Not good. The Shareaza team has been having their own share of lawsuits recently (by the malicious company Discordia Ltd.). Plus the fact that I am pro internet-neutrality, destroy the people who use the programs, not the ones who make it. Because for all we know, they could've initially meant the program be used to distribute un-copyrighted material and music under the creative commons license

To me, this seems like suing Apache because their software allows "evil people to share copyrighted material".
Surely they must be able to see the difference between the developer and the user.

Better go ahead and sue teh Internets too! None of this is possible without them.
And we all know that all p0rns are teh fault of teh Internets too.
So, I guess that means Al Gore is the one to go after! LOLZ

Ignorant french music publishers, who the fark cares what they publish anyway.
Name one MAINSTREAM french artist.
Didn't think so.

Depends what you consider to be 'mainstream'.

Ditto 'Daft Punk'.
In addition: Air, Cassius & Jean Michel Jarre.

Though, going on market penetration I'd have to say that 'Daft Punk' are the most mainstream - what with sales and being multi Emmy nominated. Jarre seemed to peak in the 80s. But, no idea if he ever "made it" in the States.

There are no lega grounds here. Like someone else states they are not hosted nor developed in France so they have no right to sue anyone in the US. The offenders are really the french citizens as they need to make sure that the programs that they use comply with French laws but if they don't then shouldn't download it. I would only expect developers to make sure code abides to laws within the country that they live in. Sourceforge is the last place I would of ever expected to be sued too.

I know that Azureus became Vuze. Azureus was mainly used as a torrent program for legal and illegal purposes. However, it became Vuze and is a good source for a lot of legal content. Now, I have no doubt that there will be some people that might use it to download illegal content. However, its now painfully obvious that the record companies are grasping at straws. This is sad because Vuze has allowed me to come across a lot of interested movie trailers for upcoming shows that I want to go see, etc. Like some other people mentioned, with this thinking, they might as well go after Cisco, Nortel, etc for their hand routing/gateway devices for the internet. Its a dam shame. I guess one can only hope that the incoming President will take a shot at doing something about this gastapo crap.

This is the dumbest thing I have heard, why not go after Google since I can search for illegal works there, or why not sue Microsoft, Apple and Linux for giving us a OS to get the illegal works or even the ISPs they give us a gateway to the illegal works. Instead of wasting money and the court's time on dumb lawsuits, why not just go after the uploaders?

Shouldn't they also sue Cisco/Nortel, for making routers that enable the illegal traffic to move around the 'net?
Madness.

Sue every website that allows you send files to people, while you're at it, because that can be used illegally. Seriously now.

There isn't any point in suing SourceForge... All they do is host applications. They aren't responsible for what the applications do.

What still baffles me is the fact that the same reasoning can be applied to torrenting in general. After all, the hosts of the torrent files and the tracker providers don't actually host any illegal content. For that reason, they aren't responsible for what gets shared. Of course, there are those like isoHunt, which happens to have "isoHunt Releases" for some illegal torrents. THEY could be held responsible because they support the illegal torrents. Although the logic for doing so is quite fallacious, most people don't think using only logic. See the Unexpected Hanging Paradox for an example of what I mean (you might even find it interesting).

If these programs are illegal in France but legal in US (and other countries) and not made by French companies and not hosted in France (although SourceForge has mirrors in France) then they have no reason to sue - the users who live in France are committing the crime if they download/use these programs.