LimeWire case: Judge grants plaintiffs access to founder’s financials

A judge has decided LimeWire founder Mark Gorton’s wealth is an issue in the ongoing case against the former peer-to-peer music sharing site, paving the way for RIAA lawyers to look into his financial history and possibly present uprooted evidence in court.

LimeWire case: Judge grants plaintiffs access to founder's financials

U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood of New York ruled that researching Gorton’s net worth is fair, as is broaching the subject at trial. The investigation may turn up hidden assets or evidence the embattled ex-Chief Executive filed false reports.

The Hollywood Reporter pointed out some controversial moves Gorton made in relation to his finances — moves that are purported to be shady attempts at protecting himself from future legal repercussions.

Furthermore, Judge Wood dismissed Gorton’s desire to testify that prior to the copyright infringement complaint filed by Arista Records LLC and several other record labels, he believed he was acting in good faith — that the service he was providing wasn’t actually illegal.

The decisions compliment Wood’s rulings last year which revoked an RIAA-filed motion to freeze Gorton’s assets pending a final verdict on the amount he would owe for his part in the operation of the infringing enterprise.

LimeWire was shut down in 2010 following a court-ordered injunction. This March, record labels stated that the company owed them $75 trillion for the damage wrought — a figure promptly labeled “untenable” by Judge Wood and dismissed.

Rumors swirled about a proposed legal LimeWire, which would boast features comparable to other RIAA-approved services like iTunes. However, the company put the kibosh on such plans following the site’s closure.

After the original service was shutdown per a court order, a LimeWire Pirate Edition also made an appearance, causing even more controversy and problems for the company.

LimeWire should get its (next) day in court next month.