RIAA wins case against file-sharing network
20th Jul 2010
Gig news staff
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has won a four-year court case against LimeWire, the US-based file-sharing service. The verdict has prompted eight music publishing companies, including Warner/Chappell and EMI Music Publishing, to launch their own lawsuit.
In its summation, a US district judge in New York ruled that LimeWire and its chairman, Mark Gorton, were liable for inducing copyright infringement. Though the final damages in the lawsuit have not yet been determined, RIAA contends it is owed up to US$150,000 (€119,400) for every infringing work. LimeWire, however, has asked for clemency, in order to relaunch as a subscription-based service in the near future.
RIAA originally sued LimeWire in 2006. The service is still one of the most popular for downloading and exchanging files online, with the software downloaded almost 200m times in total. Moreover, the court found that LimeWire’s managers had known about the pirating of music and had encouraged people to use the site for that purpose.
‘The evidence demonstrates that [site administrators] optimised LimeWire's features to ensure that users can download digital recordings, the majority of which are protected by copyright,’ judge Kimba Wood noted in her 59-page ruling. ‘[LimeWire] assisted users in committing infringement.’
LimeWire’s new service centres on ‘cloud storage’, in which ‘users’ existing libraries [will be] available to access and stream to a wide range of connected devices’, such as desktop and mobile apps, according to a press release. The proposed service will also focus on recommendations through playlists and editorial content.
- A US student found guilty of file-sharing 30 music tracks has had his fine reduced to just 10 per cent of the $675,000 originally awarded. The judge declared the original award ‘unconstitutionally excessive’.