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Merlin, Indie Labels Sue LimeWire for Missing "Wedge of the Lime"

Merlin, Indie Labels Sue LimeWire for Missing "Wedge of the Lime"

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By: Corey Tate
July 18, 2011

Just when you thought the LimeWire name had been put out to pasture ... it comes right back into the fray. Indie label representative Merlin apparently never received their piece of the pie, or "wedge of the lime" if you will, in last year's epic LimeWire court decision for $105 million. That's many millions, so what happened to the Merlin share?

Merlin, or Merlin BV as the actual name goes, represents over 12,000 independent record labels, and they claim that they never received their cash-money from the settlement. What's an indie rep to do? Sue, that's what! Apparently Merlin claims that they didn't know about the settlement with the major labels until a year after the fact (despite widespread media coverage), and LimeWire has denied any responsibility to pay Merlin, according the Courthouse New Service story.

I guess the big looming question here is who's on the hook for this chunk of money? LimeWire already paid the major labels in their settlement, so is their beef with the RIAA or LimeWire? Maybe they need to contact the RIAA to get their share of the $105 million. On the other hand, maybe they've already tried that and been rebuffed.

"Merlin says it agreed not to file a similar lawsuit on behalf of the independent labels, because in 2008 LimeWire signed an agreement promising to extend to Merlin the terms of whatever settlement it reached with the major labels," reads the post at Courthouse News Service, who broke the story. As of right now, Digital Music News is working on clearance to publish documents from the case.

The RIAA and LimeWire had "settled" a lawsuit out of court for exactly $105 million, as a cost of copyright infringement damages brought on by the creation and use of the LimeWire file sharing P2P service.

A U.S. District Judge found LimeWire guily of copyright inifringement last year when Judge Kimba Woods ruled that LimeWire and Mark Gorton had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition and induced users to commit copyright infringement with the software. Warner Bros, Arista, Capitol Records and more (13 in total) claimed that LimeWire users were able to exchange copies of their copyrighted recordings.

LimeWire enabled its users to search for music and other content via the Bittorrent and Gnutella networks. By some counts, LimeWire had as many as 50 million users.

LimeWire was even resurrected by a secret dev team last year, it what was know as LimeWire Pirate Edition. This meant that the Gnutella-based network had officially gone rogue and disconnected from the MotherShip, and was virtually unstoppable since the LimeWire network was then formed ad-hoc by anyone using the LimeWire download.

Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.


Tags: LimeWire, Digital Music News

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