Thursday, May 12, 2011
Limewire Verdict Could Hinder Innovation
The founder of Limewire admitted that his service likely violated copyright law.
Or so say the headlines. But in reality all he did was say that he took a position in an area of where the law was not completely clear. He said: "I didn't think our behavior was inducing [copyright infringement]. I understand that a court has found otherwise."
This came up in a copyright case brought against Lime Wire by the Recording Industry Association of America.
A large verdict in favor of the RIAA could have some very serious chilling effects on innovation. The application of law to emerging technology is always unsure. This doesn’t mean that innovators and entrepreneurs should not be able to take risks. Rather, people reasonably should continue to push the envelope of legal limits. If they are wrong, they should stop. But forcing them to pay large judgments serves no legitimate purpose.