LimeWire loses everything in infringement battle with RIAA

The music industry has dealt a major blow to illegal music downloads in the United States, winning a copyright lawsuit against the operators of LimeWire.

Lime Group and founder Mark Groton faced claims of copyright infringement, unfair competition and inducing copyright infringement in a battle with the Recording Industry Association of America. CNet reports that U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood issued a summary judgment in favor of the RIAA, ruling thatt LimeWire’s operators optimized their software to ensure that users could download music, most of which was copyrighted. She also noted that LimeWire advertised in Google to people who searched for terms like “replacement napster” and “kazaa morpheus,” reports All Things D.

From here, the RIAA will likely seek a primary injunction against the LimeWire software, disabling its file-sharing features. The group could also seek statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each of the millions of copyrighted downloads facilitated through the software.

LimeWire rose from the rubble of Grokster, Kazaa and Napster to become the premiere vessel for illegal file-sharing in the United States. The NPD Group estimated last year that 58 percent of people who said they downloaded music from peer-to-peer services used LimeWire. CNet notes that the software’s been downloaded 200 million times from its Download.com site, and nearly 340,000 times in the last week alone. The music industry is understandably giddy.

“LimeWire is one of the largest remaining commercial peer-to-peer services,” RIAA chief executive Mitch Bainwol said in a statement. “Unlike other P2P services that negotiated licenses, imposed filters or otherwise chose to discontinue their illegal conduct following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Grokster case, LimeWire instead thumbed its nose at the law and creators. The court’s decision is an important milestone in the creative community’s fight to reclaim the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce.”

Ironman to take on Playboy

Though there are no solid plans in place yet for a Hugh Hefner biopic, director Brett Ratner thought it would be a good idea to get Hef’s approval on someone to play him before anything else.

Hef’s choice? Robert Downey Jr.

After a meeting that included Robert, Hef and Brett, the original Playboy has been at Robert to consider to role, bringing it up wherever the two stumble into each other, like the Iron Man 2 premiere just a few weeks ago.

Brett agrees and explains that he believes that Robert would do it, if the script is strong enough.

And there is the snag as there is so much to tell of the life in Hugh Hefner that it has been difficult for the writers to lock down the story.

More military suicides than combat deaths

From the invasion of Afghanistan until last summer, the U.S. military had lost 761 soldiers in combat there. But a higher number in the service — 817 — had taken their own lives over the same period. The surge in suicides, which have risen five years in a row, has become a vexing problem for which the Army’s highest levels of command have yet to find a solution despite deploying hundreds of mental-health experts and investing millions of dollars. And the elephant in the room in much of the formal discussion of the problem is the burden of repeated tours of combat duty on a soldier’s battered psyche.

The problem is exacerbated by the manpower challenges faced by the service, because new research suggests that repeated combat deployments seem to be driving the suicide surge. The only way to apply the brakes will be to reduce the number of deployments per soldier and extend what the Army calls “dwell time” — the duration spent at home between trips to war zones. But the only way to make that possible would be to expand the Army’s troop strength, or reduce the number of soldiers sent off to war.

TIME did a video: “The Soldier’s Experience: Iraq vs. Afghanistan.