A federal judge ruled this week that the company behind the
LimeWire file-sharing network was liable for infringing the
major record companies' copyrights.
LimeWire software was released in August 2000 and uses
peer-to-peer, or P2P, technology to allow users to share
music or other files over the Internet.
According to the rulling, "LimeWire users directly
infringed plaintiffs' copyrights, and that LimeWire engaged
in purposeful conduct intended to foster that
infringement," and "free distribution of the recordings
through LimeWire competes with plaintiffs' sales of the
The court granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment
on their unfair competition claim against LimeWire.
The complaint against LimeWire was filed in 2006 by Arista
Records, Atlantic Recording Corp., BMG Music, Capitol
Records, Elektra Entertainment Group, Interscope Records,
Laface Records, Motown Record Co., Priority Records, Sony
BMG Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, Virgin Records
America and Warner Bros. Records.
In response to a federal court?s ruling, Mitch Bainwol,
RIAA's Chairman & CEO, offered the following comment:
"This definitive ruling is an extraordinary victory for the
entire creative community. The court made clear that
LimeWire was liable for inducing widespread copyright
"LimeWire is one of the largest remaining commercial
peer-to-peer services. Unlike other P2P services that
negotiated licenses, imposed filters or otherwise chose to
discontinue their illegal conduct following the Supreme
Court's decision in the Grokster case, LimeWire instead
thumbed its nose at the law and creators. The court?s
decision is an important milestone in the creative
community?s fight to reclaim the Internet as a platform for
legitimate commerce. By finding LimeWire's CEO personally
liable, in addition to his company, the court has sent a
clear signal to those who think they can devise and profit
from a piracy scheme that will escape accountability.
"We are gratified by the court?s careful and thorough
analysis of the facts and applicable law."