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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Aimster sued by film studios
Aimster
Aimster is being sued by record companies and film studios
File-swapping service Aimster is being sued by seven major film studios for copyright infringement.

Aimster, unlike its namesake Napster, facilitates the swapping of all types of computer files, including digital films.

Disney, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Fox and Universal filed their suit in Los Angeles while AOL Time Warner filed a similar suit in New York.

The swapping service is also being taken to court by music publishers and the Recording Industry Association of America in separate legal cases.

Injunction

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles states that Netco, the parent company of Aimster, is seeking to "supplant Napster as the preferred forum for the illegal copying and distribution of copyrighted works".

The studios are seeking an injunction to keep Aimster from facilitating the trade of copyrighted works as well as statutory damages, which could be as much as $150,000 per work.

The entertainment industry's biggest firms are leading a series of multi-million dollar legal challenges against file-swapping services such as Napster and Aimster.

On the company's website, Aimster is inviting its users to make a "voluntary payment" for the file-sharing service in order to help the company defend itself against legal challenges.

Licensing deal

Napster is also working to legitimise its operations by agreeing a number of licensing deals.

Last month UK and European independent record labels signed a worldwide licensing deal with Napster.

The agreement covers music from more than 150 record companies, including artists such as Stereophonics, Moby, Ash, Paul Oakenfold, Underworld and Tom Jones.

The independent artists join those from major labels BMG, EMI and AOL Time Warner, to be carried on a new version of Napster.

The deal is the latest attempt by Napster to secure its future as on online distributor of music, following an earlier court ruling that ordered it to effectively shut down its service.


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See also:

26 Jun 01 | Business
New court setback for Napster
30 Apr 01 | Business
Online music bonanza
26 Apr 01 | Business
Napster use slumps after court order
11 Apr 01 | Business
Judge threatens to close Napster
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