Report: Labels Seek Settlement With Lime Wire
Edgar Bronfman Testifies Lime Wire Was 'Devistating' To WMG
May 12, 2011 at 3:59 AM (PT)
Last SUMMER (NET NEWS 8/12/2010), the file sharing website LIME WIRE, accused of infringing on copyrights on recordings, requested a jury trial in a lawsuit filed by music publishers. Before that jury rules, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports, "lawyers for several major record labels have held at least three settlement conferences with representatives of LIME WIRE that they sued for copyright infringement, according to a federal court docket entry, indicating that the two sides may reach an agreement on a financial penalty instead of waiting for a jury award."
A jury in NEW YORK has been hearing testimony since MONDAY, and has been asked to determine how much LIME WIRE and MARK GORDON, its founder, owe the labels who brought the suit. THE JOURNAL calculates "the penalty could far exceed $1 billion. It was unclear whether Mr. GORTON had that much money."
WARNER MUSIC GROUP CEO EDGAR BRONFMAN JR. testified that LIME WIRE's copyright infringement was "devastating" to his business. CRAIN'S NEW YORK reports BRONFMAN, "testified that the drop in revenue caused by peer-to-peer music sharing services such as LIME WIRE forced WARNER to fire employees and release fewer recordings. He said he had hoped the services would shut down voluntarily after the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that GROKSTER, another music-sharing program, could be held liable for infringement."
"When LIME WIRE kept operating it frustrated me greatly," BRONFMAN told the jurors. "It was devastating, frankly."
U.S. District Judge KIMBA WOOD had previously ruled that LIME WIRE was liable for copyright infringement.
LIME WIRE lawyer TONIA OUELLETTE argued, "They seek to claim copyright or intellectual property rights as to works that are in the public domain and therefore not protected."
ARISTA RECORDS has been the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, along with 13 other labels including WARNER MUSIC GROUP, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and EMI.