Eight members of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) today (6/16) filed a lawsuit against LimeWire for copyright infringement of their musical works on a massive scale. NMPA President and CEO David Israelite announced the action today at the NMPA’s Annual Meeting in New York City.
The plaintiffs – 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 – filed the action against LimeWire LLC, Lime Group LLC, LimeWire CEO Mark Gorton, former COO and CTO Greg Bildson, and M.J.G. LimeWire Family Limited Partnership in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The publishers seek both equitable relief and damages for LimeWire’s knowing facilitation of copyright infringement through its web application.
Similar action by the Recording Industry Association of America against LimeWire and its executives has resulted in a recent court decision holding the company liable for, among other things, inducing copyright infringement. The publishers’ suit is filed as a related case.
“The pervasive online infringement facilitated by LimeWire and others like them has consequences for everyone in the music chain,” Israelite said. “Operations like LimeWire must understand the songs that make their illegal venture lucrative don’t appear out of thin air. Behind every song is a vast network of people – a songwriter, a publisher, a performer, a record label. They have robbed every individual in that chain by selling their site as an access point for music and then refusing to properly license the music. It is a scheme the U.S. Supreme Court spoke on five years ago in its landmark Grokster decision, and a scheme that the U.S. District Court ruled was a violation of copyright law in the record labels’ hard-fought case.”