LimeWire fighting to bitter end

Mon Jan 3, 2011 7:33pm EST
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By Eriq Gardner

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - LimeWire isn't going quietly to its death.

The popular file-sharing service, which allows people to transfer music, movies and TV shows free of charge over the Internet, is looking to get court-ordered subpoenas that require third parties to open up about their dealings with the record industry.

After U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood delivered what was essentially a death penalty for LimeWire for copyright violations with an injunction against the company in October, the case moved onto the next question: How much money should LimeWire pay the record industry for its misdeeds?

The labels claim more than $1 billion in damages and plan to argue for such compensation in a jury trial scheduled for April. But before that happens, LimeWire is fighting tooth and nail to get the record industry to prove its losses.

A few weeks ago, a judge ordered the record companies to produce information on costs such as royalty payments on some of the music alleged to have been infringed. But that's not enough for LimeWire.

In the past couple of weeks, attorneys for LimeWire have been pushing third-party licensees to hand over a range of documents, including contracts, royalty payments, accounting books and even internal company communications where executives at leading digital outfits discuss their relationship with the record business.

For example, LimeWire has gone to the Western District of Washington to ask a judge to compel to cooperate with its discovery. According to a motion filed in court, Amazon prefers that any royalty documents be handed over by the record industry at the guidance of the New York District Court, but LimeWire is pressing for more.

"Amazon's contention that it need not produce revenue information and communications regarding its agreements with Plaintiffs because these documents are equally obtainable from Plaintiffs is wrong on the facts and the law," attorneys for LimeWire write.   Continued...