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LimeWire settles pub copyright suit

Terms of the settlement were not revealed

Defunct file-sharing service LimeWire has settled a massive federal copyright infringement suit filed by eight major music publishing companies.

A spokeswoman for the National Music Publishers Assn., whose members include the plaintiffs in the case, confirmed the settlement.

“We are pleased that this litigation is over,” the NMPA said in a statement. “The parties worked hard to achieve a settlement that is a good result for all involved.”

Terms of the settlement were not revealed. All claims in the case were dismissed, and each side will pay its own costs of the suit, according to a Bloomberg News report citing a March 7 court filing.

LimeWire was sued last June in U.S. District Court in New York, by EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Bug Music, MPL Music Publishing, Peermusic, and The Richmond Organization (Variety, June 17). The publishers alleged widespread abuse of their song copyrights.

Had LimeWire been found guilty at trial, the toll could have been high: The publishers alleged “millions of infringing acts,” and sought maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringing act.

The action succeeded a May decision in the same court, which found that LimeWire encouraged infringement of sound recordings (Variety, May 12). The previous suit was mounted by 13 record labels. An award of damages in that case remains pending.

As a result, LimeWire was ordered by the New York court to disable its peer-to-peer service (Variety, Oct. 27). An injunction order by the court said that LimeWire continued to be “a tool of choice for rampant infringement.”

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