Content Creators Rejoice at RIAA Victory Against File-sharing Site LimeWire
In the ongoing war against Internet piracy, the RIAA’s recent victory against file-sharing site LimeWire marks a major victory for content creators. One notable aspect of the ruling is that held the makers of the software at issue responsible for copyright infringement, a departure from the established axiom that only individual users are responsible. Mitch Bainwol, RIAA chairman & CEO, called the decision an “an important milestone in the creative community’s fight to reclaim the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce.”
The Judge granted the RIAA’s motion for summary judgment, holding that based on the facts produced this far, the RIAA was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The Court appeared to rely in large part on Plaintiff’s expert witness, Dr. Richard Waterman of the Wharton School, who testified that based on a the results of a random sample, some 98.8% were distributed without authorization.
While the immediate result may be a shift by illegal users to other file-sharing software, in the long run, the decision only legitimizes industry’s campaign which may now target every other platform in use, signaling a trend away from the “wild West” mentality that has largely dominated the public’s view of internet content. The Court chastised the operators for their awareness of the copyright abuse, active attraction of infringing users and failure to conduct meaningful efforts to mitigate infringement.