Record Companies Win Infringement Case Against Lime Wire

limewireA US judge ruled in favor of thirteen record companies in saying that the file-sharing software Lime Wire induced copyright infringement.

US District Judge Kimba Wood declared in her 59-page ruling that, “The evidence demonstrates that Lime Wire optimized LimeWire’s features to ensure that users can download digital recordings, the majority of which are protected by copyright, and that Lime Wire assisted users in committing infringement.”

The 13 companies who filed the case in August 2006 are Arista, Atlantic, BMG Music, Capital, Elektra, Interscope, LaFace, Motown, Priority, Sony BMG, UMG, Virgin and Warner Brothers.

Lime Wire, a free peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) client for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other operating systems supported by the Java software platform, has more than 50 million monthly users. It started in 2000.

Judge Wood has set a June 1 hearing for further discussions about the case, which may include issues about damages.

Meanwhile, Lime Wire Chief Executive Officer George Searle “strongly opposes” the ruling. He said that the company is simply committed to developing innovative products and services for the end-user and that will work with the entire music industry, including the major record labels.