LimeWire has two weeks to respond to the Recording Industry Association Of America’s latest legal assault against them. As previously reported, a US judge last month issued a summary judgement in response to the RIAA’s incredibly long running litigation against the popular file-sharing service ruling that the Lime Group and its founder Mark Gorton were liable for copyright infringement. On Friday, the RIAA requested an injunction that would order Team Lime to shut down its P2P services.
In an update hearing, Judge Kimba Wood yesterday gave LimeWire’s legal people two weeks to respond to the RIAA’s injunction application, after they asked for four. In its injunction application, the RIAA accused the Lime Group of making no efforts to curb the infringement enabled by their P2P software since last month’s ruling. Certainly Lime’s top team have put more effort into picking holes in that ruling rather than trying to address the issues Wood raised, perhaps by introducing filters that stop LimeWire users from sharing unlicensed content.
Once Lime Group have responded to the RIAA’s injunction claim, the record industry trade body will have a fortnight to respond to the response, though Wood may decide to issue the injunction anyway without further input from the record labels. Most legal experts reckon the demise of LimeWire’s P2P network is now imminent, unless Gorton was willing to blatantly ignore any injunctions issued against him and his company Pirate Bay style.
So much so that word has it the RIAA’s legal men are now looking beyond the injunction and are working out how to bully maximum damages out of Gorton and the Lime Group. RIAA lawyers have already told Judge Wood they believe they have a right to access detailed financial information about both defendants in a bid to work out what damages they may realistically get. There are allegations Gorton has been putting profits from the Lime enterprise into a family trust in a bid to stop labels getting their hands on it, if and when his file-sharing business gets sued out of business.
Meanwhile, the Lime Group issued a statement yesterday saying any injunction to shut down its P2P operations would hit their efforts to develop legitimate digital music services. The statement said: “We feel a permanent injunction is not the best course of action. It could hold back the creation of new digital music technologies that LimeWire is in the process of developing, and [it] does not benefit the industry as a whole. Following today’s court appearance, we will be submitting our opposition brief”.
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