The LimeWire / RIAA copyright infringement drama is over with a settlement of $105 million in damages for LimeWire's file sharing P2P app. Artists are likely to get nothing from it though, so why are they supposed to be supporting the RIAA again?
What's $105 million between business partners? Not a lot apparently, as the RIAA and LimeWire have "settled" a lawsuit out of court for exactly that amount, as a cost of copyright infringement damages brought on by the creation and use of the LimeWire file sharing P2P service.
Earlier estimates for LimeWire damages went as sky-high as $75 trillion, which probably left founder Mark Gorton and his lawyer Joseph "Don't Call Me Scott" Baio with a lot of sleepless nights in the run-up to the decision.
Recording Industry Association of America Chairman Mitch Bainwol said "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."
A more likely number for damages that had been floated around was $150,000 per infringing song, but that would leave LimeWire responsible for over a billion dollars, as the RIAA is claiming that almost 10,000 copyrighted recordings were exchanged through its P2P network. This kind of number might have been why Mark Gorton was in favor a settlement.
The casualty in this whole LimeWire RIAA drama is likely to be the artists, who probaly won't see any reward since an out of court settlement was reached, rather than a court verdict. The money usually goes to cover legal costs, and antipiracy efforts, according to TorrentFreak.
“Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs,” RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said when speaking to TorrentFreak.
Why is it that artists are supposed to rally behind the RIAA's efforts when they regularly get thrown under the bus when it comes time for their reward? The RIAA always uses them as a shield to gain favor in lawsuits, but often leaves artists out of compensation.
A U.S. District Judge found LimeWire guily of copyright inifringement last year when Judge Kimba Woods ruled that LimeWire and Mark Gorton had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition and induced users to commit copyright infringement with the software. Warner Bros, Arista, Capitol Records and more (13 in total) claimed that LimeWire users were able to exchange copies of their copyrighted recordings.
LimeWire enabled its users to search for music and other content via the Bittorrent and Gnutella networks. By some counts, LimeWire had as many as 50 million users.
LimeWire was even resurrected by a secret dev team last year, it what was know as LimeWire Pirate Edition. This meant that the Gnutella-based network had officially gone rogue and disconnected from the MotherShip, and was virtually unstoppable since the LimeWire network was then formed ad-hoc by anyone using the LimeWire download.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.