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Music Publishers Settle Copyright Claims With Lime Wire

Music publishers settled their lawsuit against Lime Wire LLC, the online file-sharing service found liable last year for copyright infringement in a suit brought by record companies, an industry group said.

“We are pleased that this litigation is over,” the National Music Publishers Association said in an e-mailed statement. “The parties worked hard to achieve a settlement that is a good result for all involved.”

All claims by publishers including Warner Music Group Corp. against Lime Wire and its founder, Mark Gorton, are “dismissed,” according to a filing today in federal court in New York. No reason was given in the filing for the dismissal. Each side will pay its own costs of the suit, including attorneys’ fees, according to the document.

The music publishers, which also include units of Sony Corp. and Vivendi SA, sued the file-sharing site last June, one month after U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood found Lime Wire and Gorton liable for inducing infringement by enabling Web users to exchange music files for free without authorization.

The suit by the record companies was moving toward a May trial for damages against Lime Wire and Gorton. The music companies have estimated they could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

Joseph Baio, a lawyer for Lime Wire, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment on the dismissal.

Music publishers own or manage the copyrights for songs and compositions while the record labels own the copyrights to the recordings.

The publishers’ case is EMI April Music Inc. v. Lime Wire LLC, 10-4695, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan.)

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