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Summary Judgment Victory for Major Record Companies

On May 11, 2010, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of 13 major record companies on their copyright infringement claims against the operators of LimeWire, a peer-to-peer file sharing service. Cravath served as lead counsel to the record companies.

The record companies alleged that the defendants induced infringement of, and contributorily and vicariously infringed, their copyrighted sound recordings. Judge Kimba Wood granted summary judgment in favor of the record companies on their claims against Lime Wire LLC, Lime Group LLC (former majority owner of LimeWire) and Mark Gorton (sole owner of Lime Group and former Lime Wire CEO) for inducement of copyright infringement, common law copyright infringement and unfair competition. The Court denied defendants’ cross motions for summary judgment on those claims, and on defendants’ motions for summary judgment on plaintiffs’ claims of vicarious copyright infringement, fraudulent conveyance and unjust enrichment. Defendants had made several motions to exclude expert and fact evidence, which Judge Wood also denied.

The defendants had filed antitrust counterclaims against the record companies, alleging, inter alia, violations of the Sherman Act. In December 2007, the Court granted Cravath’s motion to dismiss all eight counterclaims. LimeWire’s leave to replead was denied.

The Cravath lawyers involved in this matter include partners Katherine B. Forrest, Max R. Shulman and Stephen S. Madsen, senior attorney Joanne M. Gentile and associates Jessica L. Selb, Yonatan Even, Sean K. Thompson, Rebecca Rettig and Mark L. Silverstein.