Music publishers file copyright suit against LimeWire

June 16, 2010
A man uses a laptop computer at a wireless cafe. A group of music publishers filed suit Wednesday against LimeWire, a popular online file-sharing service that has already been found liable for copyright infringement in a separate case.

A group of music publishers filed suit Wednesday against LimeWire, a popular online file-sharing service that has already been found liable for copyright infringement in a separate case.

Eight members of the National Publishers' Association (NMPA) filed a copyright infringement suit in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the NMPA said in a statement.

They accused LimeWire of "copyright infringement of their musical works on a massive scale" and are seeking unspecified relief and damages.

"The pervasive online infringement facilitated by LimeWire and others like them has consequences for everyone in the music chain," NMPA president and chief executive David Israelite said.

"Operations like LimeWire must understand the songs that make their illegal venture lucrative don't appear out of thin air," Israelite said. "Behind every song is a vast network of people -- a songwriter, a publisher, a performer, a record label.

"They have robbed every individual in that chain by selling their site as an access point for music and then refusing to properly license the music."

The suit was filed by EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Bug Music, MPL Music Publishing, Peermusic and The Richmond Organization.

A US District Court judge last month ruled in favor of 13 music companies in another copyright case against LimeWire, finding the company and its owner Mark Gorton liable for and unfair competition.

The companies have asked the judge hearing the case to immediately freeze LimeWire's assets and said the company may be liable for damages totaling "hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions."

LimeWire software was released in August 2000 and uses peer-to-peer, or P2P, technology to allow users to share music or other files over the Internet.

LimeWire is owned by the Lime Group, a New York-based company.

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