updated 02:00 pm EST, Tue March 8, 2011
LimeWire agrees to settle music publisher suit
LimeWire on Tuesday said it had reached a settlement deal with major music publishers that had sued it for alleged piracy in June of last year. The two sides reached a secret deal that would see the lawsuit dismissed without the possibility of its return. The publishers, including those representing EMI, Sony, and Universal, had wanted as much as $150,000 per song and would have made it impossible for LimeWire to pay them back.
The lawsuit didn't avoid a separate lawsuit from labels themselves, mostly stemming from sub-labels of Sony, Universal and Warner. A trial in that case is due for May 2 but could be cut short if LimeWire agreed to a settlement for that case as well.
LimeWire had tried defending itself against lawsuits from the RIAA and other music industry firms under the argument that it didn't explicitly condone piracy and had taken steps to discourage bootleg copies. The plaintiffs argued that it was fully aware its service was being used primarily for piracy and did only a minimum at best. An RIAA victory eventually led it to close permanently as an active business, and the remaining company persists mostly to cope with the lawsuit fallout.
The campaign has been mostly ineffective in stopping the flow of piracy as alternatives have popped up. It regardless shut down one of the easiest ways of reaching the Gnutella network, one of the more popular peer-to-peer networks from the last decade.