LimeWire Sued Again, This Time by Music Publishers

LimeWire Sued Again, This Time by Music Publishers

National Music Publishers’ Association says it wasn’t represented in the recent RIAA case against the file-sharing service, and now wants “equitable relief” of its own for the damages it claims its members suffered over the years.

After the RIAA’s successful case against LimeWire this past May other copyright holder groups are now apparently lining up to submit copyright infringement accusations of their own. The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the largest music publishing trade association in the US, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against LimeWire for copyright infringement of their works on a “massive scale.”

“The pervasive online infringement facilitated by LimeWire and others like them has consequences for everyone in the music chain,” said NMPA President and CEO David Israelite.

The plaintiffs, which include EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Bug Music, MPL Music Publishing, Peermusic, and The Richmond Organization, seek both “equitable relief and damages” for LimeWire knowingly allowing copyright infringement to occur.

“Operations like LimeWire must understand the songs that make their illegal venture lucrative don’t appear out of thin air. Behind every song is a vast network of people — a songwriter, a publisher, a performer, a record label,” added Israelite. “They have robbed every individual in that chain by selling their site as an access point for music and then refusing to properly license the music. It is a scheme the U.S. Supreme Court spoke on five years ago in its landmark Grokster decision, and a scheme that the U.S. District Court ruled was a violation of copyright law in the record labels’ hard-fought case.”

The NMPA filed the suit because it wasn’t represented in the earlier RIAA case and wants to make sure it gets a share of any settlement money that LimeWire makes available.

“We want to be at the table for any discussions about settlements,” says Israelite. “We’re looking for more than cessation of infringement, we’re looking for damages for all of the infringement done over the years.”

The NMPA says it will seek the maximum award for damages allowed by law – $150,000 per each case of infringing song. The total could easily reach the hundreds of millions, if not billions, as the RIAA has argued will be the case with its own lawsuit.

Either way, copyright holders seem to be smelling blood in the water and it will only be a matter of time before others appear to share a taste of the spoils.

Too bad for the RIAA and NMPA that in the meantime P2P continues, and it always has and will, unabated.

Stay tuned.

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