The BBC reports that an action against the original backers of the Napster P2P file-sharing software is going ahead. Although a new copyright-friendly version of Napster has been launched, this action concerns funding of the original site, which shut down in summer 2001 after a series of unfavourable rulings. Yesterday Judge Marilyn Hall Patel decided to allow the action, brought by Universal Music Group and Capitol Records against Hummer Wimbald and Bertelsmann . She pointed out that “courts have long recognised that in certain circumstances, vicarious or contributory liability will be imposed". The claimants argue that the defendants didn’t just stump up the cash; they also maintained hands-on control over the company, making them liable for copyright infringement too. Bertelsmann’s lawyer though has said that the company will continue pushing to have the case dismissed.
The IPKat thinks it’s fair enough for investors to be held liable, but only if they really do know that their money is being used for nefarious purposes and/or they encourage naughtiness on the part of those in whom they invest.
More unlikely patrons here and here
How to avoid bad investments here and here
Thursday, 15 July 2004
Posted by Unknown at 6:42:00 pm