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Tuesday, June 11, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Major Media Want a Bite of LimeWire

MANHATTAN (CN) - Six major movie and TV companies have piled on the defunct file-sharing website LimeWire in Federal Court, months after its founder Mark Gorton settled related claims with record labels for $105 million.

Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, Comedy Partners, Disney, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros. cite the settled Arista Records case repeatedly in their new, 16-page complaint, which contains an additional 53-page list of works whose copyrights were violated.

"The illegality of LimeWire has been fully and finally adjudicated by the Court," the complaint states. "In a related case, Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC ... the court found defendants liable for engaging in and facilitating massive copyright infringement."

The complaint cites a federal judge's May 11, 2010 ruling granting record labels summary judgment for copyright infringement.

A year later, a trial began to determine how much Lime Wire owed the labels in damages, but they settled for $105 million before the case finished.

During the brief proceedings, attorneys for the record labels damned the Internet file-sharing company in biblical terms - "Thou shalt not steal." The record labels called LimeWire's business "the biggest theft of music in the history of the world."

But Gorton's defense attorney Joseph Baio claims that behind closed doors, record label execs said that peer-to-peer downloading could benefit their businesses, if they adapted to changing times and technologies.

Biao, who still represents Gorton, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the new lawsuit, which is as vitriolic as its predecessor.

"The scope of copyright infringement that occurred through LimeWire was staggering," the complaint states. "Millions of users copied billions of files using LimeWire, and each time a user copied a file, that user obtained a permanent copy of copyrighted work without paying a penny to its owner."

The 55-page exhibit of infringed works includes "South Park," "Desperate Housewives," "Family Guy," "Alice in Wonderland," "Avatar," "Shrek," "Harry Potter," and on and on.

The companies seek unspecified damages from Gorton and LimeWire for three counts of copyright infringement.

They are represented by Gianni P. Servodidio, Joseph J. McFadden and Steven B. Fabrizio, with Jenner & Block.

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