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Decision Limewire

Decision Limewire

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Published by mschwimmer
SDNY summary judgement limewire copyright
SDNY summary judgement limewire copyright

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Published by: mschwimmer on May 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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1UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ------------------------------------------------------------------xARISTA RECORDS LLC; ATLANTIC RECORDINGCORPORATION; BMG MUSIC; CAPITOLRECORDS, INC; ELEKTRA ENTERTAINMENTGROUP INC; INTERSCOPE RECORDS; LAFACERECORDS LLC; MOTOWN RECORD COMPANY,L.P.; PRIORITY RECORDS LLC; SONY BMGMUSIC ENTERTAINMENT; UMG RECORDINGS,INC; VIRGIN RECORDS AMERICA, INC.; and 06 CV 5936 (KMW)WARNER BROS. RECORDS INC., OPINION & ORDER Plaintiffs,-against-LIME GROUP LLC; LIME WIRE LLC; MARK GORTON; GREG BILDSON; and M.J.G. LIME WIREFAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP,Defendants.------------------------------------------------------------------xKIMBA M. WOOD, U.S.D.J.:
I.
 
Introduction
Plaintiffs are thirteen major record companies that collectively produce, manufacture,distribute, sell, and license “the vast majority of copyrighted sound recordings sold in the UnitedStates.” (First Am. Compl. ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs raise various federal and state law claims of secondary copyright infringement against Lime Wire LLC (LW); Mark Gorton, the Chairmanand sole Director of LW; Lime Group LLC (“Lime Group”); and the M.J.G. Lime Wire FamilyLimited Partnership (“Lime Wire FLP”) (collectively, “Defendants”) for their role in distributionof the LimeWire software program (“LimeWire”). LimeWire permits users of the program toshare digital files over the Internet. Plaintiffs allege that LimeWire users employ LimeWire to
 
 
2obtain and share unauthorized copies of Plaintiffs’ sound recordings, and that Defendantsfacilitate this infringement by distributing and maintaining LimeWire.
1
 Plaintiffs raise the following claims against LW, Lime Group, and Gorton: (1)inducement of copyright infringement; (2) contributory copyright infringement; (3) vicariouscopyright infringement; and (4) state common law copyright infringement and unfair competition.
2
Plaintiffs also raise a state law fraudulent conveyance claim against Gorton andLime Wire FLP, and a claim for unjust enrichment against Lime Wire FLP.The parties now move for summary judgment. Plaintiffs move for partial summary judgment on their claims of (1) inducement of infringement; (2) contributory infringement; and(3) common law infringement and unfair competition. LW, Gorton, and Lime Group move for summary judgment on each of these claims, and on Plaintiffs’ claim of vicarious copyrightinfringement.
3
Gorton and Lime Wire FLP move for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’fraudulent conveyance and unjust enrichment claims. Defendants also have submitted a number of motions to exclude evidence submitted by Plaintiffs in support of their motion for summary judgment.
1
The case was transferred to the undersigned in October 2009 following the Honorable GerardE. Lynch’s appointment to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
2
LW filed (1) antitrust counterclaims against Plaintiffs pursuant to Sections 1 and 2 of theSherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1 and 2, and Section 4 of the Clayton Act, Act, 15 U.S.C.§15; and (2) ancillary counterclaims under New York State law for conspiracy in restraint of trade, deceptive trade practices, and tortious interference with prospective business relations.The Court dismissed LW’s claims in 2007. Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC, 532 F.Supp. 2d 556 (S.D.N.Y. 2007).
3
A joint amicus brief was submitted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Democracy and Technology, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Home Recording Rights Coalition, Information Technology Associationof America, Public Knowledge, Special Libraries Association, and U.S. Internet IndustryAssociation.
 
 
3For the reasons stated below, the Court: (1) DENIES Defendants’ motions to excludeevidence;
4
(2) GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on the claim against LW of inducement of copyright infringement, and DENIES LW’s motion for summary judgment on theclaim; (3) DENIES the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment on the claim against LW of contributory copyright infringement; (4) DENIES LW’s motion for summary judgment on theclaim of vicarious copyright infringement; (5) GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on their claims against LW for common law copyright infringement and unfair competition, and DENIES Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on these claims; (6)GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment on the claims against Gorton and LimeGroup for inducement of copyright infringement, common law infringement, and unfair competition, and DENIES Defendants’ motions for summary judgment on these claims; (7)DENIES the parties’ motions for summary judgment on the claims against Gorton and LimeGroup for contributory copyright infringement and vicarious copyright infringement; and (8)DENIES Gorton’s and Lime Wire FLP’s motion for summary judgment on the fraudulentconveyance and unjust enrichment claims.
II.
 
Factual Background
Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed by the parties:A.
 
File-Sharing ProgramsOver the last several years, technologies have developed that make it inexpensive andeasy to record, distribute, and share music via the Internet. Many artists now digitally record
4
Except that, as set forth below, the Court (1) strikes three statements from the September 26,2008 declaration of Greg Bildson; (2) places conditions on Plaintiffs’ future meetings andconversations with Bildson; and (3) excludes certain exhibits containing emails and internetforum postings written by Adam Fisk, a former LW employee, after his employment with LWhad ended.

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