LimeWire LLC (http://www.limewire.com) has returned fire in its copyright dispute with Recording Industry Ass. Of America (RIAA), accusing its members of operating an illegal cartel to control the online distribution of music.
In a recent lawsuit, The RIAA attacked LimeWire and its top developers for facilitating copyright theft, through its peer-to-peer (P2P) file swapping service.
It it is merely the developer of an open source software. Limewire notes that it is a true P2P service - there are no central servers to facilitate file exchange. As such, people who download LimeWire swap files entirely of their "own volition", it claims. Hmm. We can’t see a US court buying this argument.
A much more interesting line of defence is LimeWire's attack against the music industry. It says the case is “part of a much larger conspiracy to destroy all innovation that content owners cannot control and that disrupts their historical business models”. The RIAA and its members are using the law for anti-competitive means, not to control piracy, LimeWire charges.
Online music distribution, is it notes, a disruptive business model for the music majors, which are "using the exclusivity rights inherent in their copyrights - that they deployed with a vengeance, by unlawfully extending and pooling those] to cartelize the network for the online distribution of music... They also pooled their huge monetary resources to combat and eventually defeat many of their online competitors."LimeWire’s counter-claim is here