Digital Music

RIAA Wins Major Court Ruling Against LimeWire

The RIAA and the major labels have won a major court  ruling against LimeWire which,  much like previous lawsuits with Grokster, Kazaa and Morpheus, contends that  the service deliberately encouraged  users to violate copyrights and profited from the infringements.image from The court ruling listed 5 factors that, taken together, establish that LimeWire "intended to encourage " infringement: 1) LW’s awareness of substantial infringement by users, 2) their efforts to attract infringing users, 3) their efforts to enable and assist users to commit infringement, 4) LW’s dependence on infringing use for the success of its business; and 5) a failure to mitigate infringing activities.

In the judge's opinion LimeWire's effort to create a legal music service proved that LimeWire understood the the problems of filesharing and could easily have done more to stop it. For example, the company had built a filter that blocked the downloading of copyrighted materials, but users had to turned it on themselves. In contrast, a similar filter in the LimeWire's own music store which barred users from sharing songs they bought there was always operational.

image from "This selective filtering further demonstrates LW’s knowledge of
infringement-mitigating technologies and the company’s intentional
decision not to employ any such technologies in a way that meaningfully
deters LimeWire users’ infringing activities… is a strong indicator of intent to foster infringement."

The parties respond:

LimeWire CEO George Searle shot back in a defiant official statement: LimeWire strongly opposes the Court’s recent decision. LimeWire 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. We look forward to our June 1 meeting with Judge Wood."

RIAA head Mitch Bainwol disagreed: "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."

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    This sets legal precedent for future cases.
    Artists gotta get paid, bitch.

  2. What did anyone expect? The truth is piracy is commonplace on Limewire, PirateBay as well as Youtube and other distribution channels and P2P networks. I do not think anyone can argue that what Limewire and PirateBay did was legal and in all seriousness, the reason why people flock there is to download copyrighted material.
    The RIAA has been wrong on many fronts over the last decade and has failed to embrace technology and innovation. However I do believe that they will do what is best for their members (Universal, Sony, Warner, EMI) and will always lobby to protect their copyrighted works. While many artists have no problem distributing their music for free, it is obvious some do have a problem with that. Hence, there lies the problem. You will never get uniform agreement on this.
    I do believe that the majors and the RIAA will inevitably adjust to today’s digital culture or else they will cease to exist. In the end it is all about maximizing shareholder value and profits. They will follow what is in their best interests and why not? It is their catalog after all. The real question is, are they leaving money on the table? Time will tell. Adapt or suffer the consequences. I believe movement is being made towards a positive direction. ISP’s and big telecoms are the answer. Question is how to divide the pie.
    Constantine Roussos

  3. constantine, you truly are a moron.
    artists, indies, majors, etc. all hate giving away music.

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