As Expected, Limewire Sued; Courts Get To Discuss The Inducement Standard

from the next-up dept

As has been widely expected, the RIAA has officially gone after Limewire today. Following the Supreme Court Grokster decision that didn’t actually say Grokster was guilty of copyright infringement (just that they could be liable if they were found to have “induced” copyright infringement), the RIAA simply pretended that the ruling meant all file sharing apps were illegal and sent out warning letters to a bunch of them. Many shut down or tried to come up with other business models, while most users simply moved on to whatever else there was (and there were plenty of options). It looks like popular file sharing app Limewire continued to resist — so now the RIAA is suing. What will be interesting is to see how far this case goes. If history is any indication, the RIAA will do its best to make the case as expensive as possible for Limewire, so they feel compelled to settle or just disappear completely. However, the firm does have a defense: they just need to show that they were not actively “inducing” copyright infringement — even if that’s what their software was often used for. They might want to take notes on Torrentspy’s case against the MPAA.

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Comments on “As Expected, Limewire Sued; Courts Get To Discuss The Inducement Standard”

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green_sleeves says:

Re: bite my downloads!

everyone is sooo right- who is making money off this- P2P is just that, we share our computer (to a point ) what is next, pay per view for web pages that give us information ( freely )- Lime Wire hasn’t done anything wrong…..some people just have too much time on their hands. Of course Lime Wire will be replaced- it already has with Frost Wire. And on and on we go…….

Monsuco (user link) says:

P2P is a tougher target than ever

Limewire has a published source code. While I dont think it is licensed under a OSI approved license, it’s code is avalible. There is a GPLed clone of Limewire called Frostwire that works the same as Limewire. Frostwire has said that if Limewire starts to use DRM or shuts down Frostwire can step in. If frostwire is closed down, then anyone could take its code and make a new frostwire or redistribute it. If they both somehow are destroyed there are other GNUtella clients avalible. If Gnutella is shut down, eMule, OpenNap, and FastTrack remain. If they are shut down, then 3G P2P networks, like MUTE may take over. P2P is tougher than ever! The RIAA currently, does not have enough lawyers to take all of them down.

lar3ry says:

LimeWire and infringement

LimeWire is a Java client that implements the GNUTella protocol. There are versions of the software that include source code (, so it will be difficult, if not impossible, to remove LimeWire… just like it has been difficult to get DeCSS removed… it just keeps springing up elsewhere.

It would truly surprise me if there is anything that the RIAA can subpoena (business plans, memos, emails, etc.) that will show that the owners of the software have encouraged any kind of piracy in any way. This software came out AFTER Napster was castrated by the RIAA, and I would imagine that they had very good lawyers telling them what they should and shouldn’t do.

The fact that LimeWire hasn’t caved in tells me that they think they will prevail. (Napster thought so, too, but again, LimeWire has that experience to learn from.)

Lastly, there are legitimate uses for LimeWire, GNUtella, and BitTorrent. There are public domain songs, performances, movies, documentaries, as well as software (just about very version of Linux, for example).

Suing LimeWire because some user is allowing people to download Madonna’s latest song is about the same as suing LimeWire because a version of Linux I downloaded has flaws in it.

It makes no sense at all.

Trikein says:

Then again if Net-neutrality dies, such things could just be thrown onto the “slow lane” of the Internet or worst yet, blocked all together. As soon as a company decides what you can and can not see, we are subject-gated to their profit seeking ways. Why let a “illegal” site through when a legal, and hence higher paying, site is so much more profitable. Just a thought from a very tired man. ::chuckle::

knome says:

Re: Re:

“if Net-neutrality dies” then perhaps we can allow the engineers to do their job and hi-pri the voice and video data on the line instead of telling them how to engineer the networks they voluntarily interconnect. Torrents should be second class citizens on the wire. Their a background downloading service, which given equal treatment is far too aggressive in what it does. This is how a network is properly setup. IP has a service type indicator for a reason, this one. That it was never used is because 1) There was no need initially and 2) People can easily forge it to claim their torrent traffic requires video level speeds, and since most people are asshats they would.

The internet does not exist. It is the illusion created by the millions of little networks that exist online voluntarily bowing to ARIN and it’s ilk in order to interconnect their many privately owned networks. It is not a public domain.

The silliness about websites being blocked and whatnot is just that, silly. It defeats the purpose of the internet, and anyone doing it would receive hellacious backlash and tons of negative press which would lead to lost customers.

For those fearing blocks by end of line services, insist your community pass laws forcing the local lines to be allowed to be leased by multiple competing companies so that competion is allow and will keep the companies in line.

“NewSystems Broadband :: Not Blocking Google like those Other Douchebags”

Chris says:

Whats that, the musics too loud...

I dont think that the RIAA is going to last very long. Soon everyone that sells music, legally or ilegally is going to sue them for wasted time and money and they will go uunder like any other company. The RIAA sucks, if they didnt have all that big money, they wouldnt have all these nonsense lawsuits. They waste tim in our courts. I read a story once about the RIAA sueing a 12 year old girl for illegally downloading songs to her computer. Guese what, the family didnt have a computer or an internet connection. I’m tired of the RIAA!

Coolcliftop says:

Re: Whats that, the musics too loud...

I wish I could agree with you Chris, but ther is just to much money involved for the RIAA to go away. A few of the artist have spoken out against them, but most are all for it. The artist have climbed into bed with Tony Soprano and the rest of the mob for a little piece of the action.

Even though most of the artist get screwed in the end they still want to bargain with the devil. The story of how the RIAA has screwed over so many aritst and left them penniless and in some cases homeless is a long sad story.

No my friend they are not going anywhere except back to court. The good news is everytime they shut one down, five more start up.

Chris says:

Re: Re: Whats that, the musics too loud...

Reminds me of roaches in Florida, for every one that you see, there are 20 hiddens in the attic and closets. The thing is we can beat them, right now they are being real dick heads trying to sue every “illegal” music company. I think one company needs to counter-sue and then they can get all the other companys that moved on to join in a class action law suit and ssue the RIAA. Of course I am probally talking about stuff I dont know a lot about but I think it can be done. Money doesnt win you a case, the judge and/or jurry do.

Chris says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Whats that, the musics too loud...

Tell that to my friend, his parents sued a trucking company when he was four because he got hit by one of their trucks because the driver was drunk. They only had $2,000 to trhow at the case, the trucking company had a whole lot more. My friend still won and made off with somethinig around $700,000

YouKnowNothing says:

Re: Re: Whats that, the musics too loud...

“…probably ‘sharing’ illegal music…’

What the F*CK is “illegal music”??? How can music be illegal?

Limewire is a neutral technological tool. Its main use is to distribute and share files. If someone decides to do something illegal with it like share copyrighted music without the permission of the copyright holder, then said person is responsible, NOT the tool.

Compare and contrast that with this:

A car is a neutral technological tool. Its main use is to transport people and things efficiently. If someone decides to do something illegal with it like run someone over or use it to escape from police after said person robs a bank, then said person is responsible, NOT the tool.

crystal_tech says:


ok everyone, and me, quit your bitchin and get up your lazy ass and go change the god damn world. piss on everything and backup what you say. don’t type it in blogs. write your congress man… rock your vote… GET OFF THE FUCKING COMPUTER AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE STATE OF LIVING YOU ARE IN!!!! I’m sick and tired of people saying that they are boycotting the radio and cds and other bullshit. guess what its not working… we need to remove power from RIAA and MPAA that i will agree on.. but instead of boycotting someone should create a new platform and get labels and defiy RIAA and MPAA. Hell i don’t know… With the net we are our own world and we should be able to be free to do as we wish.. (with worldwide laws to make everyone equal and have full rights) i know this rant is off but i’m typing it at 5 in the morn without sleep in like 36 hours. so to sum it up…. Off ass…Write big wigs….do something….THINK FOR ONCE…and piss on all your kill steal in an mmo you play. Fuck you later crystal_tech

Ms. Holla says:

Music for the soul

Don’t they say music brings peace? Where’s the peace in all of this? Limewire is stopping alot of people from choking the sh_t out of these ridiculous people like the RIAA. Leave and let be. Limewire is no harm or threat to the music industry. “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG” and i know this has nothing to do with this topic but HELL with the gas prices can’t we get something for LESS? THANKS LIMEWIRE your my IDOL

Mr Rat says:

Re: Kazaa

Has anyone sued Kazaa yet?…..!!! Where have you been??? Kazaa just settled for over $100 million and agreed to filter – and the money that RIAA got was not going to artists it was going to anti piracy initiatives so if you put 2 and 2 together – Kazaa is funding the fight against Limewire……..

We need to start a protest group whereby all filesharers write and publish Gnutella clients – 250 million clients – let them sue us all !!!!!! – I read you can write a client in around 16 lines; lets do it; …. I have never used Limewire for anything except searcing for Creative Commons files and the odd classical track


Baffoon (user link) says:

Someone will always find a way...

I say let them shut all the P2P script runners down. (Yes I use them all too)… but they wont stop it.

It will go underground like the rebels in Demolition Man, and like the speak easys, etc etc…

I already have all the files… and I have an FTP accoutn, a free one at that, and I have web space and an email client.

I invite my friends, send them links through the email, who go and download my stuff, I change directory settings to 777 and they upload stuff, make annony FTP accounts and their friends can upload their stuff, and on and on and scooby dooby doo..

P2P is like smokers… we are going to live forever, get used to it.

Slow Learner says:

This is making me tired!

I’m tired of this whole thing. I agree, it’s nice to get paid for what is yours. But the RIAA sueing Limewire??? It’s like the cops giving Ford a ticket because I was speeding. Their commercials show speeding cars… they can easily exceed the speed limit… why else would they do that unless they wanted me to speed?

Give it a break. Instead of trying to get rid of P2P, maybe lower the price of the F’ing material so we’re not so pissed off when we realize there is only 1 good song out of 12 on there.

Susheel Daswani (user link) says:

Even if LimeWire dies, people will go on using LimeWire for years and years to come. If you have it installed on your machine and run it every so often (to refresh its list of network hosts), it will continue to operate just fine for years. You can kill Mr. Universe, but you can’t stop the signal (see the movie ‘Serenity’ to understand this reference 🙂 ).

a musicloving but downloading newbie says:

so do I understand it correctly?

with this limewire thingy i can get RIAA member songs for free?

I guess that’s the case. Why would RIAA sue them otherwise if not for marketing this service?

Hm lets see…

google limewire to find a download adress for that service!

Thanks RIAA for this publicity boost. Reminds me somehow of the MPAA piratebay thingy early june. Never heard of them before that date

a musicloving but downloading newbie says:

Wow, downloaded now this Frostwire thingy

I can see hundrets of files that looks interesting

Thats cool. thanks RIAA

(i have no technical clue how they can catch me now if i download now stuff with it, but even if they do, i do not care. I’m poor, for private purposes its not a crime in my country to get music from others so i’m not afraid of you RIAA cartel criminals and your civil lawsuits.)

Once again thank you for providing this information to a newbie like me by suing some company which produced this big headlines that even me get the info about this technology 🙂

shableep says:

About net neutrality...

Even if net neutrality is killed, that’s only in the US. There’s still the rest of the world that going to remain neutralized. You can change legislation in the US, but that doesn’t change the world.

Before, these companies could push the product any direction they wanted. But they were the sole providers of the content. Now the people are the providers and the companies are simply the enablers. This is a new environment that these companies weren’t engineered for. An entity that can’t be controlled. This fight of theirs over net neutrality is a fight against inevitability.

Even if they win the legislation, they’ve still lost the battle. All this legislation would do is suddenly have them using their internet service as, well, that new cord that hooks into your cable box. It just can’t exist as a part of the internet. It’s of a different nature.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: About net neutrality...

Even if net neutrality is killed, that’s only in the US. There’s still the rest of the world that going to remain neutralized. You can change legislation in the US, but that doesn’t change the world.

Errr, yes it does change the world. In case you haven’t noticed, the US applies it’s rules worldwide.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The radio is free, anyone can record off the radio, I can even do it with myMP3 player on the fly

And the RIAA claims that’s “stealing” and thus illegal.

So hey RIAA, you better start that lawsuit on Creative for allowing me to get free music…

Give them time. The RIAA would basically like to see unrestricted consumer recording devices outlawed. After all, they _are_ the “Recording” Association of America so only _their_ members should be allowed to possess unrestricted recording devices.

David says:


RIAA is a corporation gone wrong. Started off as something good, got too much power, and now on a war path. However it would take too much money to remedy the wrongs they have done, so no one will do anything. However, we as the people have the power to change things. We vote for Senators and Congressmen, who make laws. Write to them, express your opinions, sign petitions. We must do something before we wake one day to find we have no rights left. A little tragic to say I know, but every day we are slowing losing our rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Radical thinking anyone???

With the rate that artists produce their new music, they should be able to pick up real jobs anyway, especially since they have fame. Unless they’re on tour, then I can see that being a problem, but playing shows seems rather pointless. Bands are always worse live because they can’t help but digitally alter their work. Anyway, when people get into crowds like that it kind of turns rotten. It’s like you’re standing next to someone who would otherwise be normal but something about them makes your face cringe with disgust because of the atmosphere affecting he/she and everyone else. It’s a behavior weakness humans have, it brings those crowds to the level of farm animals, it starts the pits that people die in, and it gets those pathetic innocent people just drooling over their idols into a fight because someone bumps into them.

All in all, if bands would stop going on tour and start taking up their own jobs, they’d have nothing to complain about. Besides, playing music is like a recreational sort of thing, nobody deserves to be paid for it, just like nobody deserves to be paid for playing a video game. That’s why if someone gets their music stolen, I don’t feel bad. It’s not like the pirate will be re-releasing the song as their own or some shit so they have nothing to cry about.

RIAA, are you protecting music loving bums? Hippies, perhaps? Yes, yes you are. There should be a company about attacking the dicks making money off of their music.

Anonymous Coward says:

RIAA: Rotten Idiots Acting Appallingly

I have never used Limewire for anything illegal but I have once or twice not put on my seat belt in the car and once or twice I may have crossed the street in the middle rather than at a pedestrian crossing and once or twice I may have thrown rubbish on the ground from my chocolate wrappers – oooooohhhhhhh oops did I say that in public: there goes the car industry, roads and convectionary – F U RIAA you bunch of losers.

I am begging you Limewire – fight this to the death – start a funsraising campaign – I will take it to the streets, theses bastards have to be stopped.

Sumit says:

Do Artists Even Need More Money?

All of the Artists have tons of money you can see it in the cars they drive, the clothes they wear, and the things they buy. The Reason Artists should get into the music business isn’t just for money. They should get into it because they like to make music for people. If it were that way then the prices for all of the CDs would be lower and Artists wouldn’t have problems with pirated music because they would be practically giving it away buy selling it. I mean come on I can buy a 50 pack of CDs for 17 cents for each CD. If CDs are that cheap you shouldn’t be selling them for 10 or 15 dollars a copy.

joe says:

Re: Do Artists Even Need More Money?

this is why i am sick of the internet, every tech blog is full of morons. why is everybody stupid? what makes you think that all artist are rich? MANY MANY musicians have second jobs and can hardly get by. just because you dont listen to slightly unpopular music doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and these guys are getting way less money than they deserve. yes, some crappy talentless people are getting loads of money for striping down on mtv. that doesn’t mean that we should steal music from the poeple who deserve it. stealing music is WRONG. dont try to justify it. the creators of limewire knew that people would use their program for stealing and didn’t take proper measures to stop that. i think that you all should go get jobs and pay for your music you lazy jerks.

Surly Curmudgeon says:


The RIAA has once again demonstrated its contempt for consumers, through its heavy-handedness, bullying and greed. I will avoid buying music except through iTunes which is a good deal, and I will use Limewire, although not for music downloads. Don’t give up Limewire and supporters. RIAA can kiss where the sun doesn’t shine.

Foamy the Squirrel says:

Aren't they doing this on Stargate SG-1?

Even the bad guys sound the same The RIAA…The Ori ?

Both come in…throw out a bunch of warnings about “Join us or else” and then they start hitting on the little guys who are not strong enough to protect themselves. Maybe the RIAA needs to be sued for stealing the business model of those galactic bad guys.

anonymous_guy (user link) says:

just out of curiosity

someone tell me if this hypothetical situation is possible….

if limewire is open source…and someone recompiles it and makes some modifications and redistributes it anonymously and no one attaches their name to this “new” P2P app….and all of a sudden people start using it and it spreads like wildfire…who would the RIAA go after? I mean, if the app is not affiliated with anyone…anonymous author…not distributed by any one source (e.g. distributed on IRC by users)…who would be the RIAA’s target? isn’t that a possibility? The only people they could go after would be the individual users…and in that case I’m sure they could all pull off the “my wireless is open and unsecured and it could’ve been anyone” defense.

I think the RIAA should just go throw themselves into a tank of pirahnas already and just give up.

JB says:

It will backfire again

These lawsuits are useless. The record companies should try working with P2P sites instead of against them. The public obviously doesn’t consider file sharing a crime so they will continue to find ways of doing it. Good artists can make a shitload of money off of their tours, so really all thats getting cheated is the big record execs. These lawsuits will backfire on the RIAA just like Sony’s anti-file sharing software did.

claire rand says:

Re: Grokster

gun lobby has money perhaps?

i wouldn’t worry about this. no matter what happens someone outside the states will create a p2p application (well i dare say they already have) have fun getting these people into a us courtroom.

all the states is going to suceed in doing is more ‘off shoring’ of the music industry.

they should have worked with it when they had the chance. tis too late to cry about it now really.

another case of the legal system meats practical ‘issues’ like the uk case vs frankly who cares? so the uk courts may rule it illegal.. the net effect will be?

thought so…

Technomancer says:

It's the same tired old song.

When Napster rocked the Internet with the ability to share and download MP3 files years ago, it was a beautiful, easy to use system with a *centralized* method of distribution. Though the songs were not STORED on their servers, they allowed people to connect to each other directly. Big Business didn’t realize it at the time, but a change had already taken place.

Most people don’t want to go to a store with underpaid wage slaves who don’t know a thing about what’s in their store anyway. They would rather browse (and listen to!) the songs that they’re already interested in, and discover OTHER new music they haven’t heard that’s similar. It’s not easy to do that in a store, nor is it convenient.

Naturally, when they decided that the ‘little upstart, Napster’ wasn’t going to go away, they didn’t just go cry in a corner because they weren’t getting any money from the people listening to the freely downloaded and shared music.

At that point, they made a colossal blunder. They *could* have worked with Napster, and worked something out – say “Pay $15 a month for unlimited downloads, or pay on a per-song basis!” – and because it was a centralized system, it would probably have been very simple and easy to implement.

But no. They had to shut down the whole thing, because they didn’t understand it in the first place, and just wanted the ‘bad thing’ to go away. Nevermind that due to the fact that people were interested in all sorts of music they’d discovered through Napster, and were actually HELPING even the in-store sales…

When they shut down Napster, all the other decentralized p2p services sprouted like weeds. Dozens of ’em. And file sharing went on.

In the end, all this whining, moaning, legal action, and legislation is going to amount to one thing: richer lawyers. It won’t make a bit of difference. Eventually, they will either catch on, or go out of business. Companies like have the right idea. People *will* pay if you offer a huge selection of very high-quality songs, and make it easy to get. If you don’t have anything to offer people but high-priced, hard to buy songs from a limited selection of artists, then people are either going to buy their music elsewhere, or they are going to download what they want (for free) from their buddies. End of story.

Hamburger Jack's says:

Media Protection

It is impossible to protect any media these days. Any type of protection must be unwrapped at some point so the user can see/hear the content and they can be directly recorded at this stage.

So if all P2P networks go down and the RIAA find a way to write some super DRM kit someone, one day, will find a way to get around it and a way to share it. The internet CANNOT be controlled.

I use LimeWire Pro but I do get a lot of my music from . This is because quality isn’t always gaurenteed on LimeWire, I’d rather pay cheaply and have one high quality copy of a song rather than download 3 separate files and comparing quality (kbps sometimes doesn’t make a difference because some people rip low quality media to higher quality to make it look good) and converting formats et cetera for free.

BTW, I bought the Pro copy of LimeWire before I realised that I could’ve just downloaded the full version using the free version.

|>2|> 15 7|-|3 |>////493

(That’s P2P is the pwnage for those of you who can’t read leet)

KevinG79 (profile) says:

What's that, the musics too loud

Josh writes:
Why does everyone have a problem with buying music? Limewire’s main use is probably ‘sharing’ illegal music which is hardly fair to the record companies and artists and all of us who pay for music.

Why the fuck are you defending the RIAA? You must either work for them, or your daddy does. Everyone knows the RIAA is evil. And if you think for ONE SECOND that the RIAA is doing this to “protect the artists,” you are totally fucking stupid and need a major reality check.

175 318 1294 says:


So if they do end up sueing Limewire are they out to get the poeple that/use it /used it? many of my friends use it i tell them to use i-tunes so they wont get in trouble.

but just in case someone please answer the question of “if they do end up sueing Limewire are they out to get the poeple that/use it /used it? “

Xavier says:

RIAA Sucks

RIAA is bad. You know, I know it, and if you don’t know it, you work for them. Simple. I wouldn’t know half the bands I know of today if Limewire wasn’t around. The RIAA doesn’t have to kill P2P networks(they’d be wasting their time and money…) they just need to learn how to use the internet in a way that appeals to the consumers and them. It’s not rocket science, people… what it is is a bunch of grown folks who have no other way to solve their problems rather than fighting with their wallets.

Not to mention, CD’s are overpriced. It’s not the quality of the CD par-se, it’s whether or not the price is fair. Paying $15 for something that probably only costed $3 to make isn’t very practical. I’d say the best price would be in this area…

New CD’s: $6 MINIMUM $8 MAX

Older CD’s: $1 MINIMUM $4MAX

I’d be buying CD’s like a friggin’ mad man if they were that cheap. Not to mention, that will put supply and demand in a VERY good position. CD’s are in supply and their getting sold. Arists are making more money than ever if the RIAA coperates. See my vision?

Oh well. Even if Limewire does crash, they’ll just have to waste their money again suing more filesharing companies. Hopefully, they’ll sue so many and run out of cash and declare bankruptcy.

I remember reading one case about how they sued a 12 year old girl after unsucsessfully filing against her parents. Is that me, or is that just flat out rude and bullly like? You’re going to make some family go BANKRUPT because they downloaded a song. Let’s see… that is the following:

– Idiotic

– Wasteful

– Unethical

– Mean

Here’s an idea RIAA… stop spending all your FUCKIN’ money suing little kids and filesharing companies and actually USE IT to fix the problem! Dumbasses!

fontuckydick says:

Why all the fuss...................

To this day I just don’t understand all the fuss from the RIAA et all about downloading free music. What about turning on your home stereo and tuning into a local radio station and recording all music played to a reel to reel set up like I did for years or now to a cd recorder/burner. Why was there no problem with that way of getting free music? What about in the mid sixties when the Sony Betamax appeared and then recording movies became popular? I can still record music and movies in the above stated fasion right now with no legal issues. So why all the law suits from RIAA? As a matter of fact, when I download free music, from a site, a lot of times it influences me to purchase the complete album for the reason that I don’t want to download the complete album because it either takes too long, is not available, or almost always I get a better quality product by just purchasing the cd. Thats all I use free downloading of music for is sampling or burning an occasional cd for my own use. Why would I make a cd and try to sell it to someone else when they can get it the same way I did? Then when the RIAA does sue someone don’t you think that is misuse of authority? Turning their big legal muscle against an ordinary person with limited resources I think is unfair and bullyish-if there is such a word-and is morally wrong. Look at the latest news of the RIAA sueing that young girl last month for downloading free songs. She doesn’t have any money to fight the big bullies at the RIAA. What money she might have will be spent pleading her case in court and she will loose anyway.No it just isn’t fair and I will always be ashamed of that part of the music industry and won’t support artists who favor lawsuits in the above fasion. Thankyou

Breann.Balog says:

celebrities dont need any more money

I dont understand why so many celbrities are creating such a brawl over illegal downloads… I think the celebrities need to check their wallets again to see how much money they have they will be just overflowing with their wallets, like celbrities dont need anymore money.. they are richer than the average person for GOD SAKE!. People still buy CDS!. like come on! Its just a disaster!

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