Feeds

AOL told to stop shipping AOL 6.0

AOL 7.0 roll-out threatened

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

AOL has been forced by a US court to halt shipments of its AOL 6.0 software - and could affect the recently launched version 7.0.

PlayMedia, the company behind the AMP MP3 player engine under the hood of WinAMP and other popular MP3 playback applications, has successfully forced AOL to cease shipping product that contains its technology.

Judge A. Howard Matz in the Los Angeles District Court yesterday ordered AOL to stop shipping AOL 6.0 while it continues to include AOL Media Player. Look at the software's initials and you'll see why: Media Player is essentially a modern version of WinAMP, developed after AOL bought Nullsoft.

PlayMedia originally licensed Nullsoft its AMP MP3 code and granted the WinAMP maker the right to sub-license AMP. That right, it insists, does not convey on AOL a right to use AMP in its own online access software, even if it did buy Nullsoft. And, to prove its point, PlayMedia sued AOL for copyright infringement last April.

Judge Matz' ruling grants PlayMedia a preliminary injunction against AOL until the company's case against the media giant has been judged in court. The ruling prevents AOL from shipping AOL 6.0 - either directly or through third-parties - while it contains AMP code, though it is permitted to ship the MP3 decoded in WinAMP. Equally, it has to block any AOL 6.0 user whose installed version of the software contains AMP - though said users are allowed access to the AOL service in order for the company to remove the offending code through its Live Update mechanism.

AOL has been ordered to put up $500,000 as security for its complicity in the Judge's order.

AOL originally sought to block a preliminary injunction on the grounds that such a move would cost it too much money and, in any case, it denies the copyright infringement charge. It's now heavily promoting AOL 7.0, but since that software may contain an AMP-based AOL Media Player, it is also covered by the injunction. The Judge's ruling forbids the use of AMP in all software but WinAMP.

As we went to press, AOL had yet to comment on the presence of AMP code in Media Player 7.0.

PlayMedia, meanwhile, has a history of litigation. The licensing deal it struck with Nullsoft came about after it sued the WinAMP maker in May 1999 for illegally including AMP in that very application. The suit soon took in MP3.com, which was promoting WinAMP at the time, but was settled the following June on the day after AOL announced its intention to buy Nullsoft.

More recently, PlayMedia was signed by Napster to produce a proprietary '.nap' music format for the sharing company's upcoming copyright-protecting service. ®

Related Stories

PlayMedia settles MP3 suits
PlayMedia sues MP3.com
Napster relaunch delayed until next year
Napster to ditch MP3 for proprietary format

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.