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LimeWire Accused Of Mass Piracy

MANHATTAN (CN) - LimeWire runs an Internet scheme that induces massive copyright violations, two independent record companies claim in Federal Court. LimeWire's "peer-to-peer" software "created a piratical haven" where "millions of users" worldwide swap stolen recordings, the plaintiffs say.

Razor & Tie Direct and Kida Bop want LimeWire enjoined from stealing and copying their stuff, and enabling and inducing others to copy it.

Defendants include LimeWire CEO Mark Gorton and its COO and Chief Technology Officer Greg Bildson.

"Dubbed the 'next Napster' by the press, defendants have designed, promoted, distributed, supported and maintained the LimeWire software, networks and related services that make it possible for millions of users in the United States and throughout the world to reproduce and distribute copyrighted sound recordings without permission of the plaintiffs and without paying for them," the complaint states.

It claims LimeWire is reproducing the illegal acts that Napster, Aimster, Grokster and "other pirate" companies already tried, until courts ordered them to stop. "Defendants, undeterred in their piratical goals, relish their role of successor in piracy to companies like Napster and Grokster, and brazenly continue to promote, market, and distribute LimeWire, fully aware of the massive scale of infringements taking place on their services."

This complaint makes claims similar to those in Arista et al. v LimeWire, which major record labels filed in the same court in August 2006. Motions for summary judgment have been filed in that case.

Plaintiffs in this case are represented by Michael Friedman with Troutman Sanders. They claim Gorton is fraudulently transferring assets to duck an anticipated judgment. They want that stopped, and they want damages, disgorgement, an injunction and punitive damages.

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