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Major Labels Are Already Suing The "Popcorn Time of Music" App, Aurous

If the RIAA gets what it wants, Aurous will have the same doomed fate as Grokster, Limewire and Grooveshark.

by Alexander Iadarola
Oct 14 2015, 5:11pm

Yesterday, we reported on a new piece of software called Aurous, with the slogan "Free Music, Whenever, Wherever," that publications across the web have been heralding as the Popcorn Time of music. The idea for the app is that would not actually host any content, but instead provide an expansive interface of links to content. Its earliest alpha version just launched on October 10.

As of today, the heavyweight music industry body the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed a lawsuit against Aurous for "willful and egregious copyright infringement," The Guardian reports. The RIAA is a trade organization that claims to represent the recording industry in the United States, and they are suing on behalf of a host of major labels, including Sony Music, Universal Music, and the Warner Music subsidiaries Warner Bros, Atlantic, and Capitol.

The lawsuit filed by the RIAA against Aurous

While Aurous says that it intends to aggregate music from licensed streaming services, the RIAA's lawsuit claims otherwise: "This service is a flagrant example of a business model powered by copyright theft on a massive scale," said a spokesman for RIAA. "Like Grokster, Limewire or Grooveshark, it is neither licensed nor legal." Notably, the three services listed have been shut down because of legal action.

Aurous has said that it will put in place a system for labels to request removal of copyrighted material, as well as one for users to "tip" artists via bitcoin in future updates, but the lawsuit claims that "defendants have failed to take any meaningful action to prevent the widespread and rapidly growing infringement by its users, and in fact have taken affirmative steps to encourage, promote, and assist infringement by their users."

Aurous developer Andrew Sampson seems to not be too afraid, though, considering that he made the following tweet:

The official Twitter account for Aurous has also been feeling confident:

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