Limewire founders ruled liable for copyright infringement

The developers of file-sharing software Limewire have been made liable to 13 major record companies for infringing their copyrights.

The ruling by Manhattan Federal Judge Kimba Wood was made after he agreed with the 13 record companies that LimeWire’s parent company Lime Wire LLC and its founder Mark Gorton should be held liable for copyright infringement.

Judge Wood said at the ruling: “The evidence demonstrates that LimeWire optimized LimeWire’s features to ensure that users can download digital recordings, the majority of which are protected by copyright, and that LimeWire assisted users in committing infringement.”

Arista, Atlantic, BMG Music, Capital, Elektra, Interscope, LaFace, Motown, Priority, Sony BMG, UMG, Virgin and Warner Brothers sued Lime Group and made the original lawsuit back in 2006.

They complained that Limewire, which has been operating since 2000 was allowing its 50 million monthly users to download and share pirated material, which infringed their artist’s copyright.

Although the ruling will come as a blow to many users of sites such as this – though we’re not entirely sure anyone actually uses Limewire anymore – record industry bods, are unsurprisingly thrilled at the news.

Mitch Bainwol, Chief Exec of The Recording Industry of Association of America (RIAA) said in a statement: “The court’s decision is an important milestone in the creative community’s fight to reclaim the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce.

“The court has sent a clear signal to those who think they can devise and profit from a piracy scheme that will escape accountability.”

Back to iTunes then.