The ruling by Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan federal court halts one of the world’s biggest services for letting consumers share music, movies and TV shows for free over the Internet.
Saying that LimeWire’s parent Lime Wire LLC intentionally caused a “massive scale of infringement” involving thousands of works, Wood issued a permanent injunction that requires the company to disable its “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality.”
Record companies “have suffered — and will continue to suffer — irreparable harm from Lime Wire’s inducement of widespread infringement of their works,” Wood wrote.
She called the potential damages “staggering,” and probably “well beyond” the New York-based company’s ability to pay.
The signed ruling was made available by The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents music companies. It has said Lime Wire has cost its members hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. A copy of the ruling was not immediately available on the public court docket.
In a statement, Lime Wire expressed disappointment at the ruling. “While this is not our ideal path, we’re working with the music industry to move forward,” it said.
Lime Wire said the injunction lets it continue testing a service that allows users to buy music from independent labels. The company said it hopes to negotiate agreements with the entire music industry ahead of a full launch.
Agree or disagree with the ruling? Let us know below or in the FORUM!