Thursday, May 13, 2010

Court Squeezes LimeWire

Image representing LimeWire as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
LimeWire, one of the largest commercial P2P music downloading services, was rocked this week by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Kimba Wood, who ruled for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on its claims of copyright infringement, unfair competition, and inducing others to commit copyright infringement.

The 59-page opinion in  Arista Records, LLC et al. v. Lime Group, LLC (Case No. 1:06-cv-05936) found LimeWire, a software file sharing company, and its Chair, Mark Gorton, were both liable for inducing copyright infringement. According to the RIAA, more than 200 million copies of LimeWire's software has been downloaded to date.

Besides the free software version, LimeWire sells an "Extended Pro" version for $34.95 annually. Although it outlasted Napster and other rivals, LimeWire has not kept pace with faster competitors such as BitTorrent.  Judge Wood will meet with the litigants on June 1, where topics such as monetary damages and the possibility of the parties collaborating in the future doubtless will be addressed.
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