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Ying Yang Twins Sue CBS for Illegal Downloading

Arnold Turner, WireImage for BET Network

In an unlikely turn of events, several hip-hop artists, including 2 Live Crew and the Ying Yang Twins, have banded together with eccentric billionaire Alki David in filing a lawsuit against CBS Interactive and its subsidiary, CNET, for allegedly promoting illegal downloading.

In what some say is merely an act of retaliation for CBS’s litigation against his own company, FilmOn, Alki David recruited a random collection of rappers, including JT Money, The Force MD’s, J-Shin, R&B group Pretty Ricky and members of 2 Live Crew and the Ying Yang Twins, to join him in the class action suit against CBS.

According to the lawsuit, popular filesharing program LimeWire was downloaded over 220 million times from CBS website CNET (also known as Download.com), and CBS received “massive amounts of revenue from P2P providers” via advertising on the website. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the plaintiffs seek billions in damages over the perceived copyright violations enabled by file-sharing programs like LimeWire, Morpheus and several others.

“The CBS Defendants’ business model has been so dependent upon P2P and file-sharing that entire pages of Download.com are designed to specifically list and categorize these software offerings,” states David’s complaint. “In fact, the CBS Defendants’ were well aware that these software applications were used overwhelmingly to infringe when they first partnered with LimeWire and other P2P providers, but ignored it in exchange for a steady stream of income.”

Representing the plaintiffs is respected IP lawyer Michael Zeller, who has also argued similar cases for Google, Disney and AOL Time Warner, albeit on the opposite side, as a defense attorney.

CBS has referred to the suit as a “desperate attempt to distract copyright holders,” dismissing Alki David’s claims. “CBS and a host of other media companies were awarded a court ordered injunction against one of Alki David’s companies last year with respect to that company’s improper use of copyrighted content,” a rep for CBS said in a statement. ” His lawsuit against CBS affiliates is riddled with inaccuracies, and we are confident that we will prevail, just as we did in the injunction hearing involving his company.”

As yet, none of the artists involved have commented regarding the case, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on May 3.


Watch Ying Yang Twins’ ‘Drop’
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