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Aurous offers to give up the fight, but the RIAA fights on

By | Published on Wednesday 28 October 2015


While Aurous could prove to be the shortest chapter in the weighty tome documenting the record industry’s fight against online piracy, it will still be a pretty eventful section of the story.

As previously reported, the Recording Industry Association Of America forced the maker of Aurous – a streaming app that pulls in and plays music content from various sources online, though mainly unlicensed sources to date – to stop distributing his player almost as soon as the alpha version of it was put live. The RIAA secured a temporary injunction against Aurous and its developer Andrew Sampson after accusing the new app of existing to encourage and enable copyright infringement.

Despite being bullish on the tweets – dismissing the RIAA’s allegations, announcing legal representation and encouraging the tech community to support his fight against the big bad record industry – Sampson nevertheless complied with the court order. His lawyers then requested more time to respond to the RIAA’s litigation, and the major label trade group agreed, on the condition its temporary injunction banning the distribution of the Aurous app stayed in place.

Then this weekend, Aurous seemingly released the ‘back-end’ source code to the app on Github, announcing on social media that the venture was now an open-source project that anyone else could take on. This, says the RIAA, “flagrantly violated” the court order banning the distribution of the app, and “in the most damaging way possible” too.

Sampson’s reps continue to maintain that Aurous does not infringe copyright or encourage the infringing of copyright; that the app has published a takedown email for rights owners that the RIAA has never used; and that if the RIAA would only stop music being illegally distributed on the networks Aurous taps for content, everything would be fine.

Meanwhile, on the source code posting, according to Torrentfreak, the same reps said that the publication of the code was a mistake, but that it was an “old and obsolete version of the software” anyway, and therefore not anywhere near as damaging as the RIAA says.

Though, despite all this tough talk, Sampson’s lawyers apparently added: “Our clients are willing to transfer control of the Aurous domain and anything else you may require, including closing the site and all operations (which may have been done already), provide access to their Github and social media accounts as early as tomorrow” if the RIAA would agree to settle and call off the litigation.

As it currently stands, the record industry reps are having none of it, and want the Aurous Group and Sampson to be held in contempt of court and fined. So, while the Aurous battle chapter is going to be short, it’s not quite finished yet.