Last week a U.S. federal judge ruled peer-to-peer file sharing company LimeWire has performed in copyright infringement. The ruling comes nearly four years after the lawsuit case was first issued in August of 2006.
In making her decision, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood stated, “The evidence demonstrates that [LimeWire] optimized [their] features to ensure that users [could] download digital recordings, the majority of which are protected by copyright, and that [Lime Wire] assisted users in committing infringement.”
Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) explained the decision should indicate an inevitable end to LimeWire and its services. “Unlike other P2P (peer-to-peer) 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.”
He continued, “The court’s decision is an important milestone in the creative community’s fight to reclaim the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce. The court has sent a clear signal to those who think they can devise and profit from a piracy scheme that will escape accountability.”
Though the court has not ruled on monetary damages yet, the RIAA is seeking $150,000 for every piece of infringing work made available by LimeWire. A conference for further proceedings is set for June 1.