French Organizations Launch Lawsuits Against Soulseek

French Organizations Launch Lawsuits Against Soulseek
Amongst the seemingly never-ending crackdown on online music sharing, Soulseek has somehow managed to escape the evil major label eye. Or at least it had until now. Two French organizations have recently filed a lawsuit against the file-sharing application, launching complaints that Soulseek is specifically designed to give users unauthorized access to copyrighted materials, TorrentFreak reports.

The groups behind the legal attack are SACEM, the French association for music producers, and SCPP, an organization that represents major labels such as EMI, Universal and Warner.

According to TorrentFreak, under a French law adopted in 2006, the administrators of Soulseek could face a three-year jail term and a fine as high as $480,000 if they are found guilty of designing software with the purpose of sharing copyrighted works.

On the Soulseek website, it states they do not "endorse nor condone the sharing of copyrighted materials. You should only share and download files which you are legally allowed to or have otherwise received permission to share.”

It also states that Soulseek aims "to help unsigned and/or independent artists find a place in the ever-growing music industry, in a place where discussion and the creation of music can take place.” In step with this, Soulseek has also founded Soulseek Records, which is a non-profit online label where artists can publish their music free of charge under a Creative Commons licence.

Yet despite Soulseek’s seemingly good intentions for the promotion of independent music, SACEM and SCPP are set to take Soulseek to French court in the coming months in the hopes of shutting it down, and do the same with similar lawsuits against filesharing applications such as Limewire, Sourceforge, Morpheus and the BitTorrent client Vuze.