Lime Wire, the company that helped people obtain perhaps billions of songs illegally, is close to forking over a "significant" amount of money to settle a copyright suit filed against it by the Recording Industry Association of America, sources close to the discussions told CNET.
The two sides were still negotiating this morning, but a deal could be finalized as soon as today, the sources said. They didn't specify the exact settlement figure and cautioned that the talks could still break down.
Should a deal be finalized, it would put an end to a 5-year-old copyright case and close the book on Lime Wire, the company behind the peer-to-peer system of the same name that the big four record companies alleged cost them billions of dollars and thousands of employees their jobs.
After a U.S. District Judge found Lime Wire and founder Mark Gorton personally liable for copyright infringement and ordered the company to cease operations, the case then moved to assessing damages. Over the past two weeks, a jury in Manhattan was hearing evidence in the case as they determined what amount Lime Wire and Gorton would have to pay. If they found he deserved to pay the maximum under the law, Gorton could be required to pay as much as $1.4 billion.
Ethan Smith at The Wall Street Journal reported that the sides have held three settlement meetings without securing a deal. The talks began in earnest yesterday, said the sources who spoke with CNET.
Gorton was in a precarious legal position.The jury tasked with assessing damages was often reminded by Glenn Pomerantz, the RIAA's lead attorney, that Gorton had already been found liable of willful copyright infringement by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood. … Read more