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Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC Full case name Arista Records LLC et al. Lime Group LLC et al.
Date decided 11 May 2010 amended on 25 May 2010 Citations 715 Judge sitting Case history Subsequent actions Permanent injunction Case holding Summary judgment granted for inducement of Part of on Technologies • • • • Networks and protocols • • • • • • / • • • • • Development and societal aspects • • • Non-public file sharing • • • • • • Websites and services • • • • • • • • • Clients • • • • Streaming • • • Academic/scholarly • • • • By country or region • • • • • Related • • • • • • • • • • •. Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Background [ ] LimeWire LLC was founded in June 2000 and released its software program, LimeWire, the following August. LimeWire was widely used; in 2006, when the lawsuit was filed, it had almost 4 million users per day. LimeWire is a program that uses (P2P) technology, which permits users to share digital files via an Internet-based network known as; most of these were files containing audio recordings. An presented during the trial found, in a random sample of files available on LimeWire, that 93% were protected by copyright. Skype Earlier Version there.
These files were distributed, published, and copied by LimeWire users without authorization from the copyright owners, potentially competing with the recording companies' own sale of the music. Thirteen major recording companies led by sued LimeWire LLC, Lime Group LLC,, Greg Bildson, and M.J.G. LimeWire Family Limited Partnership for copyright infringement. LimeWire filed against the and ancillary counterclaims for conspiracy in restraint of trade, deceptive trade practices, and tortious interference with prospective business relations, all dismissed by the court in 2007. The recording companies alleged that the software is used to obtain and share unauthorized copies, and that LimeWire facilitated this copyright infringement by distributing and maintaining the software. They claimed that LimeWire was liable for: • inducement of copyright infringement • • • violations of state prohibiting copyright infringement and Opinion of the court [ ] On 11 May 2010, Judge granted the RIAA's motion for, finding LimeWire liable for of copyright infringement, infringement and as to the plaintiffs' pre-1978 copyrighted works. The court amended its opinion and on 25 May 2010.
Because all persons and corporations who participate in, exercise control over or benefit from an infringement are as copyright infringers, all claims of copyright infringement were equally applicable against Lime Group LLC and, as sole. The claims against Bildson, a former employee, were dropped in exchange for providing factual information about LimeWire and payment of a.
The court did not settle the claim against M.J.G. LimeWire Family under summary judgment, due to a genuine. Secondary liability [ ] The RIAA based their infringement claims on theories of, which may be imposed on a party that has not directly infringed a copyright, but has nonetheless played a significant role. A party that distributes infringement-enabling products or services may facilitate direct infringement on a massive scale, making effective enforcement for the copyright owner illusory. The court established the prerequiste of direct infringement, supported by which estimated that 98.8% of the files requested for download through LimeWire were copyright-protected and not authorized for free distribution.
Inducement [ ] To establish a claim for inducement, the RIAA had to show that LimeWire, by distributing and maintaining LimeWire, engaged in purposeful conduct that encouraged copyright infringement with to do so. Applying the inducement doctrine as announced by the in 2005 in, the court found overwhelming evidence of LimeWire's purposeful conduct fostered infringement. It established intent to encourage infringement by distributing LimeWire through the following factors: • LimeWire's awareness of substantial infringement by users; • its efforts to attract infringing users; • its efforts to enable and assist users to commit infringement; • its dependence on infringing use for the success of its business; and • its failure to mitigate infringing activities. The court said that LimeWire's electronic notice asking users to affirm that they were not using it for copyright infringement, did not constitute any meaningful effort to mitigate infringement. In 2006, LimeWire had implemented an optional hash-based filter capable of identifying a digital file with copyrighted content and blocking a user from downloading the file, but the court did not consider this a sufficient barrier.
It found inducement, noting that failure to utilize existing technology to create meaningful barriers against infringement is a strong indicator of intent. Contributory copyright infringement [ ] The parties also cross-moved for summary judgment on the claim that LimeWire was secondarily liable for contributory copyright infringement because it materially contributed to the infringement committed by users.
Unlike an inducement claim, a claim for contributory infringement does not require a show of intent, rather it must show that the defendant 1) had actual or of the activity, and 2) encouraged or assisted others' infringement or provided machinery or goods that facilitated infringement. A joint brief was submitted by the and a coalition of consumers and industry urging the court to apply the law in a manner that would not chill technological innovation. In particular, the brief urged the court to preserve the 'Sony Betamax' doctrine developed in, which protects developers of technologies capable of substantial noninfringing uses from contributory infringement liability. The court declined to rule on this point of law because the case lacked enough facts to determine whether or not the software was actually capable of substantial noninfringing uses. Vicarious copyright infringement [ ] LimeWire also moved for summary judgment on the claim that it was vicariously liable for copyright infringement. Occurs when a defendant profits from direct infringement, yet declines to stop it. The court found substantial evidence that LimeWire had the right and ability to limit the use of its product for infringing purposes, including by implementing filtering, denying access, and by supervising and regulating users, none of which were exercised.
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