Technology and Business Law Blog

Lime Wire’s Antitrust Charges Against RIAA Dismissed

The Federal courts seem to be inclined to side RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) when it comes to p2p file sharing networks. Yesterday U.S. District Judge Gerard E. Lynch in New York ruled that Lime Group LLC failed to make its case that it has been harmed by the recording companies (RIAA’s) business practices and he granted the recording companies motion to dismiss the claims. Read here.
The background of this case is that RIAA brought a lawsuit against Lime Wire which is a file sharing applications provider in August 2006 for copyright infringement over songs distributed over the Internet without permission and claimed that this mode of sharing music was an illegal business model. Lime Wire’s defense is that they were not “actively inducing” copyright even if their software product was used for it and Lime Wire in turn filed an antitrust law suit against the recording companies stating that RIAA was trying to illegally compete with Lime Wire and other file sharing systems.

Judge Lynch concluded Lime Group didn’t show any facts to suggest the record companies’ actions were “anything other than independent decision-making by each company to refrain from doing business” with Lime Wire.

Lime Group had also contended the recording companies had fixed prices for online music, but Lynch concluded that the firm failed to establish it had been harmed by any alleged price fixing. Lynch also rejected claims by Lime Group that the record labels had engaged in unfair business practices, including hacking the firm’s file-sharing network and claiming it promotes child pornography, on the grounds that the alleged actions were not anticompetitive. The original case against Lime Wire by RIAA is still pending and it was the first piracy lawsuit brought against a distributor of file-sharing software after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that technology companies could be sued for copyright infringement on the grounds they encouraged customers to steal music and movies over the Internet. Read here.

It will be interesting to see how the court decides the original law suit against Lime Wire after the Federal court in the Capital Records v Jammie Thomas case held that the defendant was held guilty of copyright infringement for distributing songs over KaZaA another p2p file sharing system. Read my earlier post here.

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December 4, 2007 Posted by | Antitrust, p2p, RIAA | Leave a comment

Spam and Online Interactions.

It’s the holiday season and so watch out for increased spam activity. With holiday shopping in the air, and everyone shopping for deals in the Internet and businesses targeting consumers with ads, coupons and discount deals, spammers join the band wagon and slip spam ads, content and viruses under the cover of great advertising deals.

Another way that spammers trick the users is by propagating worms. One of the most popular one is the storm worm which was spread by sending out legitimate appearing messages with things like current news events and online greeting cards as the subject matter thus seemingly innocuous or purported messages from IRS and other government agencies so that the user clicks on it and then the malware gets downloaded into the users computer. The virus links itself with other computers by p2p networking and embeds itself into the users computer.

Spam and worms can also be disseminated through common email attachments like excel spread sheets, power point etc. As a precaution it is advisable not to open an email if you don’t know the sender and as a general rule don’t open the mail in the junk box unless accidentally an email from a known sender was redirected to the junk box.

Basically the spammers focus and work on the human weakness of getting good deals or not passing one up, being curious about keeping abreast of current events and most importantly on the misplaced belief that it could happen to others but not me. All the firewall and anti-virus software can block spam only to a certain extent since hackers and spammers find ways to get around it so, ultimately common sense has to prevail in all online interactions.

December 4, 2007 Posted by | On-line world, spam | Leave a comment