On the heels of a major court win by the recording companies against file-sharing software company LimeWire, eight major music publishers said they filed their own suit on Wednesday.
The publishers are seeking relief and damages from LimeWire for facilitating copyright infringement.
Publishers are paid royalties for songwriters, while recording companies work with the artists who perform the songs. Several of the publishers, including EMI Music Publishing and Warner/Chappell Music Inc., are owned by the parents of the recording companies that won.
National Music Publishers’ Association CEO David Israelite said songwriters and publishers were hurt as well as performers by LimeWire, which provides software that allows users to swap songs over the Internet for free.
“The pervasive online infringement facilitated by LimeWire and others like them has consequences for everyone in the music chain,” Israelite said in a statement.
Last month, a U.S. District judge in New York ruled that LimeWire and its chairman, Mark Gorton, were liable for inducing copyright infringement. The case began in 2006.
The recording companies have yet to reach a deal that could settle the case before penalties are determined. But for each song that was downloaded with a willful intent to infringe on copyrights, the court could award $150,000.
Last week, the recording companies sought a preliminary injunction to freeze Gorton’s assets, alleging that he had attempted to shield LimeWire assets and its proceeds from the courts.
A LimeWire spokeswoman said in a statement that the company was attempting to relaunch itself as a legitimate music service with a business model “that will compensate the entire industry.”