Just when you thought Limewire is finally done with legal issues since it has reached a settlement with record labels, trouble finds the file-sharing service again.
The late Limewire has recently been sued by a group of indie labels for failing to honor a copyright infrigement settlement.
Merlin, representing labels such as Rough Trade and Epitaph and artists like Arcade Fire and Tom Waits, filed a lawsuit against LimeWire just last week, claiming that Limewire didn’t come through with the $105 million agreement it reached with the major U.S. music labels.
“Merlin confirms it has filed a breach of contract claim against Lime Wire in the US District Court … for damages believed to be in excess of $5m,” the company said in a statement. “The claim relates to the breach of an agreement to settle claims of infringement of Merlin members’ copyrights on the Lime Wire peer to peer service.”
A cease and desist order has been issued by Merlin to Limewire as early as September 2008; Merlin agreed not to sue since Limewire said that if it reached a deal with the major labels – Universal, Sony, Warner and Emi – it would offer Merlin the same deal.
This deal with the major labels came down in May 2010. Next month Limewire was sued again by NMPA (National Music Publishers’ Association), this resulting with the October shutdown of Limewire’s service.
Early 2011 marked the complete shutdown of Limewire.
Regardless of their deal, Merlin said: “the Lime Entities did not offer to Merlin and its label members a settlement on the same material terms (adjusted to account for relative market share) as the settlement with the major labels. In fact, the Lime Entities did not make an offer to Merlin at all.”
Now Merlin wants damages of at least $5 million and costs, according to court filings.
Ever since Limewire was shutdown, the percentage of U.S. Internet users using p2p services dropped about 7% from 2007, according to data from NPD Group.
May came with a new lawsuit against CBS Interactive and CNET for facilitating massive copyright infringement by offering Limewire for download.
This suit was filed by a coalition of artists led by the Founder of FilmOn.com.