RIAA Turns Legal Guns On Aimster

The Recording Industry Association of America has filed suit in federal court on behalf of the major record labels against the file-swapping service Aimster, accusing it of copyright-infringement charges similar to those it successfully levied against Napster and Scour.

Aimster CEO Johnny Deep said Thursday that he had not yet seen a copy of the suit. Deep is personally named in the suit, along with related corporate entities BuddyUSA and AbovePeer. The suit is the latest volley in an exchange that began when the RIAA sent a letter to Aimster requesting a meeting, warning that Aimster was in likely violation of copyright law and demanding that it initiate filtering and blocking procedures similar to what the courts have required Napster to implement.

Deep, who received that letter April 3, characterized it as a “cease and desist” letter from the RIAA. He responded by filing suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in Albany seeking a declaratory judgment that the company is not infringing on copyrights (HR 5/3). The suit further contends that to pry into material exchanged via its services would be a violation of the right to privacy and might even itself be a copyright infringement. No ruling has been made on that filing yet.