Copyright agencies have won a long-running lawsuit against P2P service LimeWire, in the latest in a long line of US court victories regarding piracy.
A US district court judge ruled that the LimeWire company, and its creator Mark Gorton, had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced others to breach copyright.
Damages will be decided on June 1, with a lawyer for copyright group the RIAA indicating that the plaintiffs will ask for a high-damage award, the New York Times reported.
The LimeWire lawsuit was first initiated back in 2006, before copyright groups broadened their plans of attack to include new avenues such as lobbying for Three Strikes treaty.
Prior to these new initiatives, copyright groups had restricted their attacks on suspected piracy to the courts.
In 2005, the Supreme Court decided in a ruling against Grokster that companies could be held liable for copyright infringement if found to be encouraging customers to engage in piracy.
Before that, copyright groups scored their first major battle against file sharing, by succeeding in shutting down P2P pioneer Napster.
But copyright agencies may find cold comfort in the ruling – P2P programs have long since been eclipsed by BitTorrent as the preferred method of file sharing. The precedent set from this case may therefore not apply to current or future US lawsuits against torrent portals.
Major torrent portal the Pirate Bay last year lost a court battle over file-sharing, but this was in Sweden and not the US.