Los Angeles
– A federal judge has granted summary judgment for the Recording Industry Association
of America (RIAA), finding the LimeWire file-sharing service and founder Mark
Groton guilty of copyright infringement, inducement of copyright infringement
and unfair competition. The case is the first to address file-sharing since the
landmark 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision in MGM v. Grokster, which found that
providers of file-sharing software could be found guilty of copyright

Since the Grokster ruling, file-sharing services including Kazaa,
eDonkey and BearShare have settled litigation with the recording industry,
while LimeWire continued to operate.

"LimeWire is one of the largest
remaining commercial peer-to-peer services," said RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol.

"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 ruling also notably found LimeWire founder and
majority shareholder Mark Groton personally liable on the charges.

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," added the RIAA’s Bainwol.

The RIAA initially sued LimeWire in 2006, seeking an injunction and damages of
$150,000 per infringement.

"LimeWire strongly opposes the Court’s recent
decision," said LimeWire CEO George Searle. "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."

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June
1, at which time damages and a preliminary injunction that could shutter
LimeWire are likely to be discussed.


Related Links:
(PDF of ruling)


  1. Pretty soon we´re gonna have facebook or myspace (fairly prosporous newcomers) in the industry liable for all the copyright infringements of everything??? Is everything up for sale?? That´s pretty whorish to me man, and to be plain honest, no machine or computer gets hurt in the process of file sharing, while all the artists should really find pride in that so many people love their music instead of the ´money´being lost.. (we´re all poor mofo)your music is our culture; you pertain to change the constitution based on your monetary system?? Keep doing your music, and thank God you´re being blessed. As for the system.. F**k the system!!!

  2. So basically gun sellers are not responsible for every single person being shot.

    Thats EXACTLY what this judge is saying about limewire and file sharing.

    A service can be used or misused. The service has a “reasonable” – (not absolute) responsibility to make sure the law isnt being broken.

    Limewire has shown they have, and to go further restricts privacy and user’s rights. They can and should not be liable for people breaking the law as gun sellers cant be liable for breaking the law with the guns they sell!

  3. The music and movie industry attempting to sue the pants off of Cable and Telephone companies for providing the internet used for Limewire? Pretty soon, fair use rights are going to be limited to removing my DVR’s functionality to record stuff on HBO and having to switch back to CDs because iTunes and other media players are found to be illegal.