RIAA Sues LimeWire Over Piracy

The company behind the file sharing program LimeWire was sued by the RIAA in federal court Friday, which is accusing the New York-based Lime Group LLC of facilitating the trade of illegal music files between its users. The labels are seeking damages, including $150,000 per occurrence of an illegally traded file.

RIAA claims that LimeWire's business model allows it to profit from the piracy trade, and its failure to block copyright content is a sign that the company is actively encouraging its users to pirate music. "Defendants not only have known of the infringement, but have promoted and relied upon it to build their business," it said in the complaint.

LimeWire has declined to comment on the situation.

The recording industry's latest move comes just days after it settled with Kazaa for $115 million, and dropped all pending litigation. Filtering technologies will be introduced on the service that will make it impossible to share illicit files. However, it is unclear if users will respond to the new format.

After other P2P sites either closed their doors or went legal, LimeWire continued to profit from staying in its current form, the RIAA alleges. The service has been around since 2000, and has grown into one of the most popular peer-to-peer sharing services.

Limewire has had time to go legal - it was one of several P2P services to receive a letter last September threatening legal action if they did not either shut down, or transfer to a licensed business model. Most, including WinMX and BearShare, decided to exit the business.

"While other services have come productively to the table, LimeWire has sat back and continued to reap profits on the backs of the music community," the RIAA said in a statement.

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