New York – File-sharing service LimeWire and founder Mark
Gorton cited statements from major record label executives in their defense
against a potential $1.4 billion copyright infringement damages award, CNET and
LimeWire and Gorton were found guilty last year of willful
copyright infringement, and the LimeWire service was ordered to be shut down in
The major record labels previously alleged in court that LimeWire and
similar services were a key reason music sales declined 52% over the past
In court this week, LimeWire sought to deflect these charges as
scapegoating, and quoting label executives talking about the rise of
"[W]e inadvertently went to war with consumers … [and]
consumers won," Warner Music (NYSE: WMG) head Edgar Bronfman, Jr., wrote in an
internal memo produced in court.
"The real problem is that there is no
technology coming from the record companies," former Universal Music head
Doug Morris wrote in a note presented as evidence.
Current Universal Music CEO Zach
Horowitz, when told by Victory Records CEO Tony Brummel, "You can’t
compete with free," replied, "We can. We have to. It’s just that we
have to be creative and add value."
LimeWire also produced a memo from
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) chairman Mitch Bainwol,
entitled, "Burning and Ripping are Becoming a Greater Threat Than
LimeWire concluded its opening statement in the case by pointing out
that anytime a file-sharing network has been shuttered, users have migrated to
"Music that is free is here to stay," said LimeWire attorney
Joseph Baio, according to CNET’s coverage.