LimeWire Agrees to Pay Major Record Labels $105M

A federal judge shut down the peer-to-peer file sharing service last October

LimeWire, the now-defunct peer-to-peer file sharing service, has agreed to pay major record labels $105 million, ending a 5-year lawsuit, the labels announced Thursday.

The labels had accused LimeWire of contributing to piracy.

This past October, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood found that LimeWire and its CEO, Mark Gorton, were liable for causing massive copyright fraud. The judge shut down LimeWire at the time.

The record labels and LimeWire reached the settlement while a jury trial was underway in New York City to determine the damages that Gordon would have to pay.

In 2006, the record labels sued LimeWire, claiming that file-sharing service was "devoted essentially" to piracy. The companies argued that LimeWire let people upload and download songs without authorization.

The companies that sued are Arista Records, which now is part of Sony Music Group, and labels owned by Warner Music Group., Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group and EMI Group Ltd.

In a written statement Thursday, the chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said, "We are pleased to have reached a large monetary settlement following the court's finding that both LimeWire and its founder Mark Gordon personally liable for copyright infringement.

"As the court heard during the last two weeks, LimeWire wreaked enormous damage on the music community, helping contribute to thousands of lost jobs and fewer opportunities for aspiring artists."