Brilliant Digital Entertainment and Altnet, which are affiliated with peer-to-peer network Kazaa, sued Morpheus operator StreamCast Networks and its chief executive Michael Weiss yesterday (Aug. 14) f
Brilliant Digital Entertainment and Altnet, which are affiliated with peer-to-peer network Kazaa, sued Morpheus operator StreamCast Networks and its chief executive Michael Weiss yesterday (Aug. 14) for infringing patents on P2P technology.
The Kazaa parties claim that StreamCast uses their “TrueNames” patents as part of its music and movie file distribution business. Altnet asserts that the patents are critical to the efficient online P2P file distribution systems that it uses to sell licensed content worldwide.
Altnet, BDE, Sharman Networks and others settled worldwide litigation in July filed by record labels and motion picture studios in the United States and Australia. As part of the deal, the companies promised to pay the labels $115 million and that Kazaa would go legit. StreamCast is still a defendant in the MGM Studios vs. Grokster case, waiting for the court's decision on a motion for summary judgment filed by major record companies, motion picture studios and music publishers after the U.S. Supreme Court last year held that the companies could be liable for inducing copyright infringement.
“StreamCast has been given ample opportunity by all to mend their ways," Michael Speck, Altnet manager of enforcement programs, said in a statement. "Their determination to continue distributing infringing material has left us with no choice but to prosecute them.” Speck is a former investigator for the Australian record labels.
The suit, filed in federal District Court in Los Angeles, claims that the StreamCast software, Morpheus and Morpheus Ultra, allow for the "location, identification, access, download and distribution of files" over P2P networks Gnutella, Neonet, G2 and eDonkey. These activities infringe one or more of the patents, the suit says.
The U.S. patents were issued in 1999, 2002 and 2005 – the latter two while the Grokster case was pending against Altnet and BDE. Kinetech is also named in the suit as the owner of the patents, which it exclusively licensed to Altnet and Brilliant.
The companies ask the court to declare that the acts were infringing, to issue an injunction and to award damages in an unspecified amount.
StreamCast declined comment.