Thursday, May 20, 2010

LimeWire takes direct hit in piracy battle


A US district court in NYC has found LimeWire (and its Chairman on a personal basis) liable for secondary infringment of copyright in Arista Records (and others) v Lime Group LLC (and Mark Gorton, Director) [2010] 06 CV 5936-KMW.

LimeWire is basically a sharing service for illegal content which like many similar sites attempted to argue that it was a mere facilitator for illegal activity and not really involved.

The issue appeared to turn on the question of whether or not LimeWire had induced its users to breach copyright and in this case the court found that it had. This judgement, hot on the heels of the Newzbin case, places a lot of the "sharing" networks on very thin ice when it comes to the question of legal liability. It seems that the copyright owners are having a good run at the moment as in the future VC's and senior managers may looks carefully at these "sharing" platforms to determine if they may attract personal liability. Whether the long arm of the law can reach out to the "usual suspects" of YouTube, Ustream, Justin TV and the ISP's remains to be seen.