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Lime Wire Partial Summary Judgment Ownership March 30, 2011

Lime Wire Partial Summary Judgment Ownership March 30, 2011

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Published by Ray Dowd
Lime Wire decision on copyright ownership of 11,000 works
Lime Wire decision on copyright ownership of 11,000 works

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Published by: Ray Dowd on Apr 11, 2011
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1UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK------------------------------------------------------------------xARISTA RECORDS LLC; ATLANTIC RECORDINGCORPORATION; ARISTA MUSIC, fka BMGMUSIC; CAPITOL RECORDS, INC; ELEKTRAENTERTAINMENT GROUP INC; INTERSCOPERECORDS; LAFACE RECORDS LLC; MOTOWNRECORD COMPANY, L.P.; PRIORITY RECORDSLLC; SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, fka SONYBMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT; UMG RECORDINGS,INC; VIRGIN RECORDS AMERICA, INC.; andWARNER BROS. RECORDS INC., 06 CV 5936 (KMW)OPINION AND ORDERPlaintiffs,-against-LIME GROUP LLC; LIME WIRE LLC; MARKGORTON; GREG BILDSON; and M.J.G. LIME WIREFAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP,Defendants.------------------------------------------------------------------xKIMBA M. WOOD, U.S.D.J.:
I. Introduction
On May 11, 2010, this Court granted summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on theirclaims against Defendants LimeWire LLC (“LW”), Lime Group LLC (“Lime Group”), and Mark Gorton (collectively, “Defendants”) for secondary copyright infringement. The Court found thatDefendants had induced multiple users of the LimeWire online file-sharing program(“LimeWire”) to infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrights. In the Court’s Opinion and Order (as amendedon May 25, 2010), the Court detailed this case’s procedural and factual background, familiaritywith which is assumed. See Dkt. Entry No. 223; Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC, 715 FSupp. 2d 481, 507 (S.D.N.Y. 2010). The litigation is now in the damage phase, with a trial ondamages scheduled for May 2, 2011.
Case 1:06-cv-05936-KMW -DCF Document 649 Filed 03/30/11 Page 1 of 17
 
2Plaintiffs have moved for partial summary judgment on (1) Plaintiffs’ Ownership orControl of the Works at Issue, and (2) the Direct Infringement of the Works at Issue. Plaintiffshave identified 11,205 sound recordings that have allegedly been infringed through theLimeWire system.
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 For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary JudgmentRegarding Ownership is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiffs’ Motion for PartialSummary Judgment Regarding Direct Infringement is GRANTED.
II. Summary Judgment Standard
A party may move for summary judgment as to a “part of each claim or defense.” Fed.R. Civ. P. 56(a). Summary judgment is appropriate only if the record before the court establishesthat there is no “genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment asa matter of law.” Id. The Court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to thenon-moving party and must draw all reasonable inferences in the non-moving party's favor.Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); In re “Agent Orange” Prod. Liab.Litig., 517 F.3d 76, 87 (2d Cir.2008). A motion for summary judgment should be denied “if theevidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in favor” of the nonmoving party.NetJets Aviation, Inc. v. LHC Commc’ns, LLC, 537 F.3d 168, 178-79 (2d Cir.2008); see alsoBrown v. Henderson, 257 F.3d 246, 252 (2d Cir.2001); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Summary judgmentis warranted if a party “fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an elementessential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.”Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
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For the approximately 9,715 post-1972 sound recordings, Plaintiffs have elected to seek statutory damages under Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act. For the approximately 1,490pre-1972 sound recordings, Plaintiffs are seeking actual damages.
Case 1:06-cv-05936-KMW -DCF Document 649 Filed 03/30/11 Page 2 of 17
 
3A party moving for summary judgment must support an assertion that “a fact cannot beor is genuinely disputed” by citing to evidence in the record, including “documents, . . .affidavits or declarations, . . . admissions, . . . . or other materials.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). “Asupporting or opposing affidavit must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that wouldbe admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant is competent to testify on the matters stated.”Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(1).An opposing party “may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own pleading;rather, its response must—by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule—set out specificfacts showing a genuine issue for trial.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2). See also Scotto v. Almenas,143 F.3d 105, 114 (2d Cir.1998) (non-moving party may not rely on “conclusory allegations orunsubstantiated speculation”). The non-moving party “must do more than simply show thatthere is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts,” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986), and must set forth “significant probativeevidence” on which a reasonable factfinder could decide in its favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249.
III.
 
Analysis: Motion for Sumary Judgment on Ownership
 
A. Sound Recordings Not in Dispute
“To prevail on a claim of copyright infringement, the plaintiff must demonstrate both (1)ownership of a valid copyright and (2) infringement of the copyright by the defendant.”Yurman Design, Inc. v. PAJ, Inc., 262 F.3d 101, 109 (2d Cir. 2001) (citing Hamil America, Inc.v. GFI
,
193 F.3d 92, 98 (2d Cir.1999)). Under the Copyright Act, a certificate of registrationconstitutes prima facie evidence of the valid ownership of a copyright. See Rogers v. Koons,960 F.2d 301, 306 (2d Cir. 1992) (citing 17 U.S.C. § 401(c)). An assignee of a valid copyrightwho is not named on the registration as the owner has the additional burden of proving valid
Case 1:06-cv-05936-KMW -DCF Document 649 Filed 03/30/11 Page 3 of 17

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