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RIAA Seeks Lime Wire Asset Freeze

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

10 June 2010

The US recording industry is seeking an order from a US district judge that would permanently shut down the peer-to-peer file sharing website Lime Wire.

Ruling in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 17, Judge Kimba Wood found that Lime Wire's owners were personally liable for committing copyright infringement, inducing copyright infringement and engaging in unfair competition. However, the Recording Industry Association of America is now asking the court to disconnect Lime Wire and freeze the company's assets, along with those of its founder Mark Gorton, because the company "does not appear to have done anything to change its illegal ways."

The RIAA's motion argues that, despite last month's ruling: "Every recording on the 'Billboard Top 40' chart of most popular pop recordings today is available through the Lime Wire software, as is every song on the current Top 40 Country, Top 40 Rock and Top 40 Latin Pop charts."

On June 7, Judge Wood gave Lime Wire two weeks to file documents in support of its argument that it should not be shut down. However, the number of copyrighted recordings that will be subject to the case is likely to increase, meaning that monetary damages could rise as a result. Wood's ruling applied to a sample of just 30 recordings.

The RIAA suggested in papers submitted to the court that plaintiffs will be entitled to "substantial damages, totalling hundreds of millions of dollars."

In response, Lime Wire argued in a statement that a permanent injunction would "not be the best course of action."

"It could hold back the creation of new digital-music technologies that Lime Wire is in the process of developing, and does not benefit the industry as a whole," the company argued.

TAGS: court | business | commerce | law | intellectual property | copyright | internet | e-commerce | United States

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