We were a bit surprised last summer when the major music publishers piled on to the bandwagon and sued Limewire
. After all, the major record labels (who own most of the major publishers anyway) were already involved in a lawsuit with Limewire and had won a pretty complete victory over the file sharing system. Having the publishers sue as well seemed like just a way to try to squeeze even more money out of a dead shell. Apparently, the publishers just figured that whatever they got out of this was easy money. What they didn't expect was that Limewire, dead as it is, would fight back pretty hard and during discovery demand actual evidence that the publishers really hold the copyrights they claim to hold (something that isn't always clear once you dig into the details). So it's interesting to see that a settlement has been reached
, and the publishers' portion of the lawsuit is effectively over. Many reports seem to be assuming that Limewire gave up here, but there's a good chance that it was the publishers who backed out, realizing they had no interest in opening up a discovery process that might prove a large segment of their business is based on pure fiction. In the meantime, they'll leave it to their parent companies to continue the battle to try to get whatever cash they can out of Limewire.