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RIAA Accuses CNET of Offering Piracy Tool Downloads

Posted by: , 16:49 AEST, Fri August 14, 2015

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CNET's Download.com again attacked for offering downloads that the RIAA says is helping people to pirate music
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Copyright groups linked to the music recording industry have accused CNET owned Download.com of offering software downloads that are inducing people to music piracy.

A coalition of 16 music groups including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) have written a letter to the CEO of CNET's parent company, CBS, asking the website to review their policy in regards to "ripping" software.

The copyright groups say that CNET's Download.com offers downloads that rip YouTube streams, including legally uploaded music videos, and other software that rips audio from video files.

The group says that using these software for their intended purposes amounts to music piracy, as the music contained in these music videos have only been licensed for use in these videos, and taking the audio out of these videos is not permitted.

"[CNET's Download.com] has made various computer, web, and mobile applications available that induce users to infringe copyrighted content by ripping the audio or the audio and video from what might be an otherwise legitimate stream," the letter reads.

"We ask that you consider the above in light of industry best practices, your company’s reputation, the clear infringing nature of these applications, and your role in creating a safe, legitimate, and innovative Internet ecosystem," the groups add.

CBS, however, does not agree with these groups' assessment, at least from a legal point of view.

Speaking to Billboard, CBS says that "all of the software indexed on Download.com is legal", and that if users decide to use the software for illegal purposes, that's an issue between the rights-holder and the user.

This is not the first time CBS and CNET have been accused of inducing piracy by offering related downloads. CNET was previously sued for offering LimeWire, uTorrent and other file sharing tools, but a judge eventually ruled in favor of the download portal.


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