Limewire has settled out of court with multiple record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America for $US105 million. The RIAA had sued Limewire on behalf of record labels including Arista, Atlantic, BMG Music, Capital, Elektra, Interscope, Laface, Motown, Priority, Sony, Universal, Virgin and Warner Brothers for copyright infringement in a case which saw the file sharing website shut down in last December. The RIAA then demanded a ridiculous $75 Trillion in damages in March, which it had calculated on the potential numbers of mp3s that could have been shared by the Limewire users.
The judge in the case, US Federal Court Judge Kimba Wood said at the time in her written judgement “If plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, defendants’ damages could reach into the trillions,” she wrote. “As defendants note, plaintiffs are suggesting an award that is ‘more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877.’”
The $105 million is a far cry from the original amount, but the RIAA seems happy with the outcome, saying in a statement “We are pleased to have reached a large monetary settlement following the court’s finding that both LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton personally liable for copyright infringement,” RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol stated. “As the court heard during the last two weeks, LimeWire wreaked enormous damage on the music community, helping contribute to thousands of lost jobs and fewer opportunities for aspiring artists. The significant settlement underscores the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in the Grokster case — designing and operating services to profit from the theft of the world’s greatest music comes with a stiff price.”