Judge Kimba Wood’s ruling that P2P application LimeWire infringes copyright triggered RIAA boss Mitch ‘The Don’ Bainwol (right) into a statement spasm.
Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s RIAA was once a major component in the corporate War Against P2P. But the Big 4 extortion and intimidation tool has been sidelined by the three strikes and you’re off the net segment of ACTA, the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement —- the entertainment industry’s last-ditch effort to gain exclusive control of the internet as a sales and distribution vehicle, how it’s used, and by whom.
Now, given an excuse to crow, “LimeWire is one of the largest remaining commercial peer-to-peer services”, said Bainwol, going on, ” 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 RIAA’s masters, Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US, but controlled by a Canadian), have never been able to establish an effective online presence, let alone reach a position where they’re able to “reclaim” anything.
Nonetheless, “By finding LimeWire’s CEO personally liable, in addition to his company, the court has sent a clear signal to those who think they can devise and profit from a piracy scheme that will escape accountability”, says Bainwol.
Wood “also didn’t like LimeWire’s advertising tactics, taking issue with the fact that ads appeared on Google searches for things like ‘Napster replacement,’ ‘Morpheus,”Kazaa,’ and the like” said Download Squad, adding:
“I’m not trying to defend LimeWire here, but … really? AdSense ads based on search terms for other P2P software is considered further proof that LimeWire is up to no good?
“Wow. Maybe now we can look forward to the RIAA going after Apple for allowing iTunes to sync music people downloaded with LimeWire … ”
But the decision that Limewire “engaged in unfair competition, and induced copyright infringement” is hardly a surprise given earlier rulings on various file sharing systems, says Mike Masnick on TechDirt, going on “LimeWire never really had a chance”.
It “basically did everything that Grokster did (and potentially more), so under the Grokster ruling, it’s a pretty open and shut case”, he said, stating >>>
Of course that doesn’t mean this isn’t troubling in many ways. In fact, it reiterates many of the problems with the original Grokster ruling.
For example, it mentions things like the fact that LimeWire folks knew that LimeWire could be used to transfer copyrighted works. But that’s meaningless. Email can be used for transferring copyrighted works. FTP too. The web as well.
Either way, I’m still wondering if, based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Grokster case, which solidified this non-legislative concept of “inducement” for copyright infringement (something that Congress had chosen not to put into the law — despite having the opportunity), if it’s possible to create a system for more efficiently sharing files that doesn’t violate the inducement standard.
In most of these cases, part of the problem is that these sites advertise themselves for the ability to infringe on copyrights, and employees at the sites were active in helping users infringe. As such, you can see how that’s clear inducement. But what if a site was set up that didn’t do all of those things, but was still widely used for infringement.
Would that still be inducement?
If so, that seems incredibly troubling.
“The law should not be set up in a way to outright ban a technology that has a wide variety of useful applications, and is used for plenty of legitimate purposes, even if it’s also used (even if regularly used) for infringing purposes”, says Masnick.
The next step, says The Inquirer, “will be to see how much the music industry claims from Limewire.
“On the basis of its previous claims, we imagine that Limewire will face a bill that’s large enough to bail out Greece plus pay all British MPs’ expenses claims.”
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
LimeWire infringes copyright – LimeWire guilty of copyright infringement, May 11, 2010
Download Squad – Court finds LimeWire guilty of copyright infringement, RIAA cackles gleefully, May 12, 2010
TechDirt – RIAA Wins Again: Judge Says LimeWire Induced Copyright Infringement, May 12, 2010
The Inquirer – Limewire is a ‘pirate’, May 13, 2010
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