updated 03:00 pm EST, Tue December 4, 2007
LimeWire lawsuit fails
A lawsuit filed by the owners of the LimeWire file-sharing service has been thrown out of a New York court, writes the Associated Press. The Lime Group had earlier entered a case against a group of major record labels, charging that they were harming Lime through unfair business practices. Specifically, said Lime's lawyers, the labels were refusing to license out music, which Lime had hoped to implement into an above-board pay service. Instead the labels would only deal with Lime if it used an approved filtering system, or if it struck an agreement with the industry-sanctioned iMesh service.
In dismissing the suit, US District Court Judge Gerard Lynch said that there was no evidence the labels had done anything but make decisions on who they would do business with, and that most of Lime's claims had failed to "allege an adverse effect on competition market-wide." Lime also made the accusation that the labels were engaged in online price-fixing, but although Lynch did not rule out the possibility of the problem, he noted that there was no clear harm to Lime's operations.
The suit was a response to a still-pending one from Warner, Universal, EMI and BMG Music. Because Lime's countercase was dismissed "without prejudice," the company remains free to pursue legal action in state courts.