The Recording Industry Association of America is leaning on CNET to stop the distribution of software which enables people to rip songs from music videos.
The move follows the blocking of YouTube-MP3.org, a site that converts songs from music videos into MP3 files.
The RIAA has asked CNET to remove software from Download.com that performs a similar function, however, the website said that it is not in a position to tell if the software is legal or not.
In a statement, the RIAA said that it told Download.com to purge all the applications that are used to steal its members’ content. It provided them with a list and yet strangely Download.com continues to ignore its demands.
“Download.com is profiting from this infringement through advertisements and other ways it derives revenue when people use the site to download these applications,” the RIAA said.
Most of the critism is based on software found at Download.com called YouTubeDownloader.
This is a free program that enables you to download and convert online videos… for later viewing.
Its developer’s site shows an extensive list of additional supported sites including Facebook and Vimeo.
The RIAA is furious that the software has 108 million downloads and Download.com editors gave it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
CNET has a history of waiting for a court to rule if a product is illegal or not. In 2010 it ignored an RIAA request to pull LimeWire until a federal district judge ruled in 2010 that the service indeed violated copyright law.
The RIAA, however, thinks that its word is law and that CNET should pull software just because it says so.
Mark Litvack, a former director for the antipiracy division of the Motion Picture Association of America, told CNET that he doubts very much whether the RIAA wants to sue the magazine.
He also said that he didn’t know of any cases in which a third-party provider was sued for distributing ripping software. “I don’t see any need for CNET to change its policy,” Litvack said.