The Recording Industry Association Of America has unleashed its latest strike in its long, long running battle with LimeWire, the US-based file-sharing company that has proven as skilled as The Pirate Bay at staying in business despite there being consensus among most of the legal community that they are liable for widespread copyright infringement.
As previously reported, the American record label trade body scored a court victory last month when a US judge considering its long standing lawsuit against the P2P set up released a summary judgement ruling that the Lime Group company and its founder Mark Gorton were liable for contributory and inducing copyright infringement by providing file-sharing software and services.
Team Lime appealed the ruling just last week, filing a new motion that argued the judge considering their case made a number of errors in his analysis of the legalities of the record industry’s argument, and failed to follow procedural rules regarding summary judgements.
With a status hearing due to take place today, the RIAA submitted a filing on Friday saying LimeWire had done nothing to change the way it operates since last month’s summary judgement was issued, and asking the court to issue a permanent injunction ordering the Lime company to shut down it’s P2P file-sharing services.
According to Billboard, the RIAA’s latest court submission reads: “LimeWire does not appear to have done anything to change its illegal ways. Every recording on the ‘Billboard Top 40′ chart of most popular pop recordings today is available through the LimeWire software, as is every song on the current Top 40 Country, Top 40 Rock and Top 40 Latin Pop charts. The Top 40 songs from 2008 and 2009 remain freely available for downloading… Every day that LimeWire’s conduct continues unabated guarantees harm to plaintiffs that money damages cannot and will not compensate”.
Lime Group’s legal arguments against the RIAA’s litigation do seem rather weak, given they are rather similar to those unsuccessfully used by the defence in the landmark MGM v Grokster case, where the file-sharing outfit well and truly lost the day. For a time it looked like the Lime team hoped they could end their legal woes by persuading the major labels to sign up to their legitimate music ventures, presumably with some sort of settlement regarding past copyright infringement. But with both sides in the RIAA v LimeWire dispute now seemingly back in fighting mode, a back room deal seems unlikely.
Unless a controversial judgement is made, it does seem likely the RIAA will ultimately win this battle. Not that that will stop file-sharing of course, these frequent court wins for copyright owners never do.
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