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LimeWire loses copyright case against record labels


By Stuart Turton and Reuters

Posted on 13 May 2010 at 09:33

LimeWire has been found liable for copyright infingement, leaving the future of the company behind the file-sharing software uncertain.

The case was brought in 2006 by the The Recording Industry Association of America, which accused Limeware of violating the copyrights of 13 major record companies, including Sony and Warner Brothers.

In a ruling made public on Wednesday, US District Judge Kimba Wood agreed with the record companies that LimeWire's parent Lime Wire LLC and its founder Mark Gorton were liable for infringement and engaging in unfair competition.

The court's decision is an important milestone in the creative community's fight to reclaim the internet as a platform for legitimate commerce

"The evidence demonstrates that Lime Wire optimised LimeWire's features to ensure that users can download digital recordings, the majority of which are protected by copyright, and that Lime Wire assisted users in committing infringement," Wood wrote.

She added that Gorton "directed and benefited from many of the activities that gave rise to Lime Wire's liability," and knew about the copyright infringement.

Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the RIAA, praised Wood's ruling. "The court's decision is an important milestone in the creative community's fight to reclaim the internet as a platform for legitimate commerce," he said.

"The court has sent a clear signal to those who think they can devise and profit from a piracy scheme that will escape accountability," he added.

Wood set a June 1 conference for further proceedings in the LimeWire case, at which point punishment will be decided. The RIAA is seeking up to $150,000 per copyright violation.

The New York-based company said it "strongly opposes" Wood's ruling and “remains committed to developing innovative products and services for the end-user and to working with the entire music industry, including the major labels, to achieve this mission.”

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User comments

Better sue nature

It provided me with the ability to remember a tune and sing it to others....

By cheysuli on 13 May 2010

RE: better sue nature

@cheysuli, I think you may be confusing remembering with recording...

By muso_ed on 13 May 2010


I'd like to see the calculations that the RIAA used to come up with this figure. Oh right, maybe they just plucked them out of thin air.

By mviracca on 13 May 2010

$150,000 per copyright violation

That'll be $0 they get then.

By peterm2k on 13 May 2010


It's not a calculated figure, that's the maximum figure written in the US legislation.

If they seriously expect Limewire to pay $150,000 per song for every song that was downloaded over Limewire (tens of millions) they have to be smoking something. There's just not enough money in existence to pay that.

By steviesteveo on 13 May 2010

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