Dale Dietrich
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LimeWire Countersues RIAA Alleging Conspiracy

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCases

Text of Amended LimeWire Counter Claim (Nov 17, 2006)
Text of LimeWire Counter Claim (Sept 25, 2006)
Text of Arista Complaint Against LimeWire (Aug 4, 2006)
On August 4, the music industry sued LimeWire as it had every other major P2P provider before. LimeWire's parent, Lime Group LLC, has filed a counter suit alleging that the case against it is "part of a much larger conspiracy to destroy all innovation that content owners cannot control and that disrupts their historical business models". LimeWire also charges the record companies with trying to extend their monopoly by forcing music distributors to work only with their affiliated filtering system supplier. LimeWire says it developed a filtering application to prevent illegal downloading and encourage legal content purchasing. But the record companies refused to give the developer access to the metadata that uniquely identifies each song in order for the filtering system to work.

Sources: Slyck | The Register | CrunchGear | Mercury News (AP) | Pocket-lint | Beta News | Computer World (IDG) | Macworld | MP3.com | GMSV | Recording Industry vs. The People

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Music Industry Sues Limewire

Categories: BigMedia v P2P Providers

Text of Complaint
Text of LimeWire’s Counter Claim
Like Napster, Kazaa, Grokster, Streamcast, Bearshare and others before it, the music industry has set its legal sights on LimeWire, a leading P2P content distribution service. In a suit filed in Manhattan federal court, the record companies accuse LimeWire of profiting from illicit downloads of their music, saying “the scope of the infringement is massive”. In the complaint they are accused of contributory copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement, and, uniquely, common law copyright infringement. In September of 2005, Limewire and other P2P software providers were served with cease and desist letters. Since then BearShare, eDonkey and WinMX all ceased operations as a result of the letter. LimeWire continued.

Sources: CNet | Slyck | L.A. Times (AP) | DRM Watch | ZDNet | Silicon.com | Afterdawn | CD Freaks | Reuters

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IFPI Launches 8,000 New Lawsuits in 17 Countries

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P Users

Following the recent successful conviction and settlements against North American P2P Providers, the IFPI has filed 8000 new lawsuits in 17 countries and P2P users using all the major peer-to-peer services, including BitTorrent, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, SoulSeek and WinMX. While most of the new law suits were filed in Europe and South America, suits have also been filed in Argentina, Austria, Singapore, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, France and Germany, plus others like Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Holland and Portugal. The IFPI claims that more than 2,300 people had already been fined or had paid compensation averaging about $3,100.

Dale’s Comment: The thousands of suits launched to date have not made a dent in file sharing. I wonder why these folks continue to think that suing their customers is a better idea than providing a fair way for honest people to purchase music online

Sources: Silicon.com | Herold Tribune | London Times Free Press | L.A. Times | Inquirer | PC World | ars technica | BBC | Reuters | CBC.ca | ABC | Red Herring | Toronto Sun | AfterDAwn | TechWeb | The Jurist | MP3.com | P2PNet | PC Pro | CNet | Business Week (AP) | MacWorld

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StreamCast Loses District Court P2P File Sharing Case

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisions

Text of Decision
In attempting to apply the Supreme Court's new "inducement" doctrine from MGM v. Grokster, District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, the same judge that in an earlier ruling had cleared StreamCast of infringement charges, found "…evidence of StreamCast's unlawful intent … overwhelming", held StreamCast liable for inducing Morpheus users to infringe on copyright and granted the plaintiffs summary judgment. Subject to any successful appeal, StreamCast is liable for up to $150,000 for each copyrighted song or movie shared with Morpheus which, of course, trends towards a damages value of $infinity! :)

The rather unclear Supreme Court doctrine of inducement requires a "clear expression or other affirmative steps" beyond mere distribution of P2P software to find infringement. Judge Wilson held that the test was met because: (i) Internal e-mails by StreamCast executives showed their awareness of users' infringements, they were eager to insure the supply of copyrighted content on the network, (iii) they implemented features that made it easier to infringe, and (iv) they failed to implement technology that could have deterred some infringements.

After MGM v. Grokster, Sharman Networks (Kazaa), Grokster, iMesh (Bearshare), eDonkey, Qtrax, Mashboxx and others settled. StreamCast was one of the few that decided to fight on. A StreamCast spokesperson said the company may appeal. LimeWire remains the only other large P2P Player still fighting on.

Sources: Ars Technica | EFF | New York Law Journal | Kathy Kirkman | L.A. Times | Chron.com (AP) | Daily Tech | MP3.com | Internet News | The Register | Slyck | Reuters | P2PNet | techdirt | Wired (AP) | cbc.ca | RIAA Press Release | DRM Watch

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eDonkey Settles for $30M and Shuts Down after Adverse Ruling

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisionsSettlements

After a judge in New York's southern district ruled that eDonkey facilitated illegal activity by allowing users to swap copyrighted material over the eDonkey2000 network, MetaMachine Inc., the firm behind eDonkey, Overnet and their P2P variants, has agreed to cease distribution of their P2P software and to pay the RIAA $30 million to avoid a copyright infringement suit. The company also agreed to take measures to curtail file sharing by existing eDonkey and Overnet users. Despite the shutdown and settlement, existing users of eDonkey, and an open source version called eMule, will likely go on sharing files unabated. While BearShare, Kazza, Grokster and others have settled with the RIAA, Warez P2P, Limewire and Soulseek are examples of major P2P services that have not settled. The judge must approve the final terms of the eDonkey settlement.

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Sources: ars technica | CNet | San Jose Mercury news (AP) | MP3.com | Slyck | CDfreaks.com | PC World | Mac World | Playfuls | PC Pro | BetaNews | The Register | Syndey Morning Herald | DRM Watch

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Music Industry Releases New Wave of Lawsuits

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is launching nearly 2,000 new legal actions against individuals accused of sharing copyrighted music over P2P services, including FastTrack (Kazaa), Gnutella (BearShare), eDonkey, DirectConnect, BitTorrent, Limewire, WinMX, and SoulSeek. Here we go again.

Sources:
ars technica  |  Red Herring  |  CNet  |  ZDNet  |  BBC  |  silicon.com  |  The Register  |  PCWorld  |  Fox News  |  PC Pro  |  Reuters  |  PC Magazine  |  Top Tech News  |  ifpi press release
 
Dale’s Comment: Oh Goody! And we’ve seen how successful the RIAA’s suing thousands of its customers has worked over on this side of the pond now haven’t we?

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