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Piracy The Courts

Court Grants RIAA Summary Judgment Motions vs. Limewire 170

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "District Court Judge Kimba Wood has granted some of the RIAA's key summary judgment motions in Arista Records v. Lime Group. In her 59-page decision (PDF), she found Lime Group itself, as well as its CEO and a separate company, liable for intentionally inducing Limewire users to infringe plaintiffs' copyrights. The decision was not a final judgment, so it is not appealable. Additionally, it denied summary judgment on certain issues, and did not address any possible damages."
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Court Grants RIAA Summary Judgment Motions vs. Limewire

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  • Re:In Summary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:25AM (#32189526) Homepage Journal

    Since I really don't want to bother reading 59 pages just to get the answer to this question, does it address how Limewire "encouraged" people to download copyrighted material? Is it simply because it allows people to make whatever they have available, and that just happened to be what some people make available?

    Does it explain how this is different from, say, an automobile? After all, cars can be used to transport just about anything. Illegal things like unlicensed guns, drugs, teenagers across state lines, stolen merchandise, illegal aliens, bodies of people you've just murdered, cases of laundered cash for organized crime bosses, etc. They can also be used to transport legal stuff, like my ass back and forth to work every day.

    I guess what I'm really not getting is, if Joe Schmo gets caught using his 1979 Impala to haul illegal copies of Free Willy DVDs, will the RIAA/MPAA sue Chevrolet?

  • google is next (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NynexNinja ( 379583 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:39AM (#32189588)
    inducing infringement is such a vague term, it means google is inducing infridgement by people searching for torrents on google... all you have to do is search for: torrent, and you pretty much turn google into the biggest torrent site. Are they liable for the actions of their users? The MPAA and RIAA think they are... Under that theory, gun manufacturers would be liable for murder caused by their guns. Next they'll be arresting the owners of Stanley Tools for selling tools that are used to break open windows and rob homes... Louisanna Slugger baseball bats because they can are used for hitting people instead of baseballs. Programmers for writing code that is used unlawfully. Where does it end?
  • judgment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by countach ( 534280 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:40AM (#32189592)

    The court's reasoning seems to be:

    a) Limewire allows you to search by genre and album which supposedly is there to encourage infringement. But the court doesn't seem to care that there is a lot of material that the owners permit to be freely exchanged that is legitimately able to be searched and downloaded by album or genre.

    b) The large percentage of real-world downloading that seems to be infringing. This seems to be a dangerous precedent. What if someone showed that 95% of betamax users had at some time infringed copyright (seems quite possible to me). Does that mean the govt. can now ban video recorders? If 98% of computer users are infringing copyright, and Intel knows it, is Intel out of business? Should exciting new technologies and techniques be outlawed because many users are abusing it? If most drivers speed, should cars be banned? Should good technology be killed because some or even most users decide to abuse it? Where does this line of thinking end?

    c) Limewire did not put filtering in to try and mitigate infringment. This seems akin to banning Firefox because the browser doesn't implement filtering. Why doesn't firefox stop you downloading infringing files? Why doesn't it look for "Madonna" in the name of files and stop you downloading them? It sounds ridiculous, but this is exactly what the court is suggesting.

    And nobody seems to notice that Gnutella and Limewire and the entire system are open source and truely distributed. If they shut down limewire nothing whatsoever would happen. Not a single file would be prevented from being downloaded. People would eventually switch to other clients like Frostwire, but the RIAA gains nothing. This is different to Napster and the RIAA's other targets which could be shut down.

  • Re:In Summary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:08AM (#32189692) Journal

    Hell, if I wanted to, I could even buy a set of lockpicks and go to town. (Or more to the point, go to your house.)

    I would not advise that, at least not where I live. Some time back, a mechanic who was driving me home (after dropping my car at a transmission shop) told me that, later that day, he had to meet with the local DA because they were threatening to prosecute his son (also a mechanic) for walking the streets with a screwdriver in his pocket.

  • Trillions of dollars (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TouchAndGo ( 1799300 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:14AM (#32189712)
    In a comment the other day someone pointed out that the RIAA etc. hardly ever go after any major distributors of their work, preferring to target individual end users, because judgements against people responsible for thousands of instances of copyright infringement would make it obvious how absurd the damages awarded per instance were. However: "The RIAA has said it is entitled to the maximum statutory damages, which is $150,000 for each registered work that was infringed. The number of infringing works they could try to claim is likely in the millions." from [] So basically the RIAA believes they're entitled to a multi trillion dollar damages award?
  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:17AM (#32190582)

    Seriously, how on earth could you believe that an ordinary person could not occasionally infringe copyright?

    It's convenient to have laws that make everyone a criminal, now isn't it?

  • The reason this is good news is that the govt has now specified how to setup a legal filesharing company. Limewire screwed up because they talked about getting free stuff in their ads on campuses. So for future reference, DO NOT talk about getting free stuff there that should cost money. Just talk about it's legit uses, like what MJ pipe sales places have to do when they call a bong a "water pipe". If you talk about MJ in such a place you get thrown out because "they are not a MJ paraphernalia store"... get it?

  • Re:In Summary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AndersOSU ( 873247 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @09:49AM (#32192582)

    Actually, I remember a lawsuit recently being dismissed against gun manufacturers who consistently marketed their guns with "fingerprint resistant grips and triggers."

    But, uh, they weren't marketing for use in crimes, because as everyone knows, fingerprint resistant is *completely* interchangeable with corrosion resistant - something every legitimate gun owner is interested in.

    Additionally, I haven't used limewire in a long time, but do you have any examples of limewire promoting that message?

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