When last we heard from Lime Wire, the rogue P2P music service was talking about going legit and selling music. It was also simultaneously involved in two legal battles with Big Music.
We’ve yet to see the Lime Wire music store, but yesterday the company lost one of its court fights, when a Federal judge said it couldn’t sue the music labels on antitrust grounds. Details from the AP, after the jump…
The firm contended it sought to reach an agreement with the labels so that it could field a licensed music service, but the record labels refused to broker a deal, insisting it use a filtering system approved by the labels or reach an agreement with iMesh Inc., a rival file-sharing service that has been operating with the blessing of record labels since settling a copyright infringement case in 2004.
[U.S. District Judge Gerard] Lynch concluded Lime Group didn’t show any facts to suggest the record companies’ actions were “anything other than independent decision-making by each company to refrain from doing business” with Lime Wire.
Lime Group had also contended the recording companies had fixed prices for online music, but Lynch concluded that the firm failed to establish it had been harmed by any alleged price fixing.
Lynch also rejected claims by Lime Group that the record labels had engaged in unfair business practices, including hacking the firm’s file-sharing network and claiming it promotes child pornography, on the grounds that the alleged actions were not anticompetitive.
Meanwhile Lime Wire is still facing another legal battle with the record labels, which sued the company for copyright infringement last year. Normally we’d say this doesn’t look good for the company, but Lime Wire’s owners have been stubborn and successful to date: Last time we checked, 17.7% of U.S. Internet users had installed LimeWire’s software, a number that has increased 3.5% in the last year.
Related: Is Lime Wire Going Legit? Not Yet.
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