LimeWire induced copyright infringement with their P2P file sharing software, ruled a U.S. judge in a lawsuit filed by 13 record labels. Warner Bros, Arista, Capitol Records and more claimed that LimeWire users were able to exchange copies of more than 3,000 of their copyrighted recordings.
The ruling was made against LimeWire by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan, and the lawsuit was originally filed waaaay back in 2006. She decided that LimeWire and Mark Gorton had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition and induced users to commit copyright infringement with the software.
"The evidence demonstrates that LimeWire optimized LimeWire's features to ensure that users can download digital recordings, the majority of which are protected by copyright, and that LimeWire assisted users in committing infringement," she wrote in a 59 page ruling. She also cited a copyright infringement cas against Grokster as part of the basis for her ruling.
Damages will be decided in June, and the price tag could be steep. LimeWire is now illegal.
LimeWire came to fame as another one of those P2P (perr-to-peer) file sharing programs based on the Gnutella network, that allowed users to download music, movies and more for free. Later they also joined up with BitTorrent. They were sued in 2006 by an RIAA umbrella group; a month later, LimeWire countersued, citing antitrust violations.
Arista, Atlantic, BMG Music, Capital, Elektra, Interscope, LaFace, Motown, Priority, Sony BMG, UMG, Virgin and Warner Brothers are the full list of companies that sued Lime Group, the makers of the LimeWire P2P software.