LimeWire Settles with Record Companies for Only $105 Million

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

LimeWire Settles with Record Companies for Only $105 Million

image

The settlement is a far cry from the $75 trillion that record companies demanded for the "enormous damage" the peer-to-peer network wreaked on their profits.

First there was Napster back in the early Oughts which earned the ire of everyone from David Geffen to Lars Ulrich for allowing users to "share" mp3s with each other, effectively stealing copyrighted material. After Napster fell apart, a few copycat networks emerged, the largest of which was LimeWire run by New York banker Mark Gorton. But after years of people lifting music and movies for free using his service, a U.S. District court ordered Gorton to shut down LimeWire's servers in October 2010 claiming that the service "intentionally encourages" copyright infringement. At one point, the Recording Industry Association of America said that Gorton was personally responsible for over $75 trillion in damages, but a jury in New York met over the last two weeks to determine how much Gorton was required to pay. Yesterday, the RIAA and Gorton settled to pay a measly $105 million to the four largest record companies, much less than the $1.4 billion that the court could legally impose.

Still, the recording industry is just happy LimeWire is no longer letting people steal music. "We are pleased to have reached a large monetary settlement following the court's finding that both LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton are personally liable for copyright infringement," said Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the RIAA. "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."

Gorton's lawyer tried to save face by calling the settlement a victory. "In the recent past, the plaintiffs have pressed for a $75 trillion verdict," he said. "The Court labeled that claim 'absurd.' Plaintiffs then claimed that they suffered $40 to $50 billion of damages and that LimeWire was responsible for it all. At other times they have claimed that the amount of damages exceeded $1.4 billion."

The $105 million, although quite a lot money, is not very much for Gorton to pay because, in addition to being the sole owner of LimeWire, he also runs a hedge fund and a medical software company. The court noted that he owns a personal IRA account worth $100 million as well as a $4 million Manhattan apartment building. Paying the record companies is no skin off his nose.

Something tells me the settlement money isn't going to starving recording artists, either. So I'm not sure what good this settlement will do for either side of the argument for "freely distributed" copyrighted material.

Then again, I'm happy to buy my $5 mp3 albums off of Amazon so perhaps the record companies and consumers have reached a happy equilibrium.

Source: CNET

Permalink

Well Limewire sure ended on a sour note.

And how much will go to artists?

Zero.

They give Limewire a bunch of crap for infringement, and yet the torrenting still goes on...

Oh well. No skin off my nose either. Good for the record companies to get what they wanted.

According to Torrent Freak, none of the money is going to the artists. It's all going to fund "future anti-piracy efforts." That's a load of bull, IMO...Supposedly they were suing LimeWire to defend the artists.

Don't support this mess at all. I'd rather LimeWire have been left alone than this.

Record companies demanded $75 trillion in damages?

Are they fucking high?

HankMan:
Well THAT ended on a sour note.

Here you are, my good man. You've earned it.

It seems Gorton dodged a bullet there. It could have been a hell of a lot worse for him. Still, the primary goal of the RIAA was met by shutting Limewire down.

Another ineffective border skirmish in the war on music.

Can someone explain me how companies can calculate the money they didn't receive? I doubt half of the people that downloaded a specific song would've bought it if it wasn't available for download somewhere for free.

Whatever I'll just pirate- I mean, buy my music elsewhere...

Trillions? Bullshit. But we've known the amounts these organizations are suing for have been bullshit for over a decade. And it's all one way. Sony and other users of DRM never get sued for $10,000 per track that customers buy and then are blocked from using. Microsoft never got sued for $200,000 for every person who lost $200+ to a faulty xbox 360. If these companies are going to financially ruin the individuals who screw them, I say we should be allowed to financially ruin them right back when they screw us.

I love the way these people overexaggerate their losses so badly.

However what I don't love is Lime Wire, 90% of the computers I fix, have that god awful program and they're stuck with viruses galore.

Irridium:
Record companies demanded $75 trillion in damages?

Are they fucking high?

Yes. Quite a few companies are in a delusion.

The profits of the old media age are gone. But they are determined to kill the modern market instead of learning to change with it.

I'm glad the candle industry didn't work this hard to murder the light bulb.

freaper:
Can someone explain me how companies can calculate the money they didn't receive? I doubt half of the people that downloaded a specific song would've bought it if it wasn't available for download somewhere for free.

Not only is there no evidence to support their claims they also can't prove that piracy isn't helping sales by provided a new cheap advertising tool for them.

There are plenty of anecdotes and intuitions about the whole thing but the entire battle has been nothing more than a digital version of the war on drugs. Convincing the world that something super bad is happening when it isn't.

Slap on the wrist, drop in the bucket. My hat's off to you, mate. Way to not go bankrupt doing what you like with the internet. Trillions was way too much anyhow.

Irridium:
Record companies demanded $75 trillion in damages?

Are they fucking high?

Imagine that, being sued for roughly 5 times the GNP of the US. Or in plain english, there ain't enough money in the world for that. If they weren't high when they drew up that piece of litigation, they must have had a large piece of shrapnel stuck in the single brain the RIAA head honchos share between themselves.

Anyway, $105,000,000 comes to roughly 7,000,000 cds. It's excessive, but I could imagine that the total "damage" is close to that. Thing is, I really hate how such frivolous lawsuits are even possible. I've stopped buying music altogether (and NOT pirating it either, kthxbye), and I'd encourage everybody else to follow suit. The RIAA is a cancer on the entertainment industry, but have the ability to starve it. Just. Stop. Buying. Music! Or go to the indie crowd, just avoid the RIAA.

man i forgot about limewire that was like sooo 2005
seems like its beating a dead horse
that or there using limewire as a very ineffective example
"dont cross us or w'll sue you BOGEDY BOGEDY BOO"

Big deal; nobody uses LimeWire anyway. They use FrostWire.

Greg Tito:
Then again, I'm happy to buy my $5 mp3 albums off of Amazon so perhaps the record companies and consumers have reached a happy equilibrium.

Just about. Major retailers are DRM free, the RIAA has calmed down with the lawsuits and everyone is figuring out how the digital age will work. I guess being the first industry to lose their shit over the whole file sharing thing means they will be the first to come out the other side as well. Things aren't perfect yet but they could be (and have been) far worse. Here's hoping the film and video game industries follow suit before long.

God, LimeWire was such a terrible program. When you saw that icon on someone's computer, you knew they probably had viruses up the ass. It was the bane of every "computer guy" in the world's existence and I'm glad it's gone.

Once again, media corporations annoy the fuck out of me. 75 trillion is an absurd claim that they pulled out of their ass.

At least they settled for a decent amount that the guy can pay off.

None of this will go to artists, don't kid yourselves.

Also who the hell used Limewire for downloading music anymore?

People wonder why I don't want to (supposedly) "support the artists" by buying their cd's. Perfect fucking proof with all this bullshit flying around.

This won't actually do anything either, you can never stop piracy.

This is sad. That guy that caused the loss of millions in revenue for the artists, will still be able to live a rich man after all this. I hate humanity.

Stop encouraging the corps to sue people! It discourages them from making quality music and movies when they can just sue people for billions of dollars and not have to actually make real stuff.

BabyRaptor:
According to Torrent Freak, none of the money is going to the artists. It's all going to fund "future anti-piracy efforts."

Like lawsuits! Gee, I bet the lawyer who thought of that got a raise.

BabyRaptor:
That's a load of bull, IMO...Supposedly they were suing LimeWire to defend the artists.

Yeah, that's what more restrictive intellectual property laws are for, too. But wouldn't it be horrible if poor Walt Disney's family were starving on the streets, like they will be if Steamboat Willie goes out of copyright?

IP trolls and IP holders don't care about the artists. They never have, they never will. Musicians sell a million albums and somehow end up owing the label money. A company's executives can copyright something they had made as a work-for-hire, so the artist has no right to his own creative output. And yet, it's "the artist they're protecting" when they sue someone for uploading a hit MP3 that the artist (or his estate, if he's dead) didn't see a penny of profit from.

freaper:
Can someone explain me how companies can calculate the money they didn't receive?

Step 1: Smoke a lot of opium.
Step 2: Pick a really big number.
Step 3: Pile bullshit on that number until you think you can get away with it.
Step 4: Get Botox injections if you can't say the number with a straight face. Write off as a business expense.

*sigh* Silly record industry, you can't kill peer to peer. It's like a hydra, for every head you cut off, 2 more spring up in it's place. Killing limewire just leaves room for clones to move in and take it's place.

Interesting to note that the US national defficit is only 14 Trillion (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/)

So that'd mean without piracy, the US would be in golde age of properity, without debt and everyone living in a land of peace and happiness...

How far up someones arse do you have to reach to get a number like 75 Trillion? It'd have to be a damn whale...

The RIAA never really have cottoned on to the fact that not everyone steals music, have they? I see lots of resent for the draconian DRM that has been placed on PC games, but the 'anti-piracy' measures that have been bandied about in the music industry by the RIAA makes the Assassin's Creed 2 DRM look like Ubisoft stuck a note on the box art saying 'Please don't pirate this game' and left it at that. They once sued a company called Diamond that made a portable MP3 player way back in 1999. The RIAA lost the case in the Supreme Court after it turned out their argument was basically "Well, it has a hard drive, and can download music from a computer! Obviously it's been made to steal music!" Observe also the prosecution flailing around in the Pirate Bay case from a couple of years ago trying to come up with a definition of what the site did and why it was illegal. They really had no idea.

Irridium:
Record companies demanded $75 trillion in damages?

Are they fucking high?

yes,, yes they are

I find it odd that the Escapist reports on Piracy, but any posts "including" piracy are worthy of warning or probation.

That aside and putting myself at slight risk, I'm glad they got past their absurd 75 trillion dollar request, but I would rather see Gorton win. The money he gets fined is not going to artists. In addition less people are going to be finding new music, maybe this doesn't seem like an issue to most but the thing is, when Gorton loses only the industry profits. Pirates lose, and artists lose. Whereas when Gorton wins, at least people who can't afford music or otherwise wouldn't pay for music have the ability to appreciate some artistic content.

Theres a total of about 8 trillion US dollars in the world, so to get 75 trillion I guess they'd have to wait for a few thousand years until hundreds of planets had been colonized and that much value even existed in the world.

McMullen:
Trillions? Bullshit. But we've known the amounts these organizations are suing for have been bullshit for over a decade. And it's all one way. Sony and other users of DRM never get sued for $10,000 per track that customers buy and then are blocked from using. Microsoft never got sued for $200,000 for every person who lost $200+ to a faulty xbox 360. If these companies are going to financially ruin the individuals who screw them, I say we should be allowed to financially ruin them right back when they screw us.

What, are you some sort of commie that believes that consumers have rights? Businesses are the good, honest, hardworking people of this God given nation. Pft. Next you'll be telling me that these parasitic 'firemen' deserve health care, and those leeches 'teaching' in our public schools deserve bargaining rights. Praise Jesus! Wealth is a sign of God's grace, so screw the sinners!

icame:
This is sad. That guy that caused the loss of millions in revenue for the artists, will still be able to live a rich man after all this. I hate humanity.

Yeah, screw that limewire guy. He sure treated artists like garbage when he gave them all free worldwide exposure! I bet not a single person bothered to go out and buy any merchandise related to those musicians after they found out about music that they would have never otherwise bothered to listen to in the first place, or became lifelong fans. Gorton's going to continue living his life with all that undeserved money that he made from limewire, a for profit venture which has given him every cent he owns, not counting all the other money he makes from his free ventures such as the hedge fund. We know exactly how much money that is down to non-fabricated, itemized lists of every single way he's violated their rights conveniently expressed in monetary terms, and let's just say that he could probably buy a planet alone with the money he made from kicking puppies into furnaces, a well publicized feature of limewire.

He's not at all like those cool record label guys. After this lengthy, half decade long conflict that ultimately resulted in a lawsuit years after it mattered, they're going to spend every penny they got from limewire towards compensating all the damages incurred to those artists, of which they've never made ludicrous profits off of without at least giving the artists a fair share and full control of the rights to their music. Rights that limewire abused, and not anybody else at all.

what surprises me is that the Lime wire guy did not go to a non extradition country YEARS ago

Used to use Limewire a few years back, it was all round pretty fucking slow, inconsistent and the bitch gave me viruses. Nowadays, I haven't found an album that I couldn't just stream on youtube before deciding what to purchase.

Irridium:
Record companies demanded $75 trillion in damages?

Are they fucking high?

Maybe they just want to help America pay of its national debt.

Orrrr, the more likely thing is yes, they are fucking high.

If they lost 75 Trillion, that is more than a hundred billion CDs. I highly doubt that they lost that much

This one is also bad news for me. Not that I've ever touched limewire or Napster, but less viruses out there, less work for me to clean them up, less money in the end.

That was Limewire's purpose, right? Where did the music discussion come from again?

Greg Tito:

Then again, I'm happy to buy my $5 mp3 albums off of Amazon so perhaps the record companies and consumers have reached a happy equilibrium.

$5!?

Currency convertor claims I'm paying $11 for mp3 albums from amazon.co.uk...

OT: Surely there is a PR element to consider here...

This kinda pisses me off... How is limewire any different than getting on youtube, looking up a song, and downloading said song for free via online downloading programs? The fact that you didn't have to use a downloading program?

*sigh* Record companies can just go in a pit and... Nevermind, I'll try to remain civil...

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here