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Thursday, June 7, 2012

RIAA’s Requests In LimeWire Case Found Absurd

One of the most famous copyright lawsuits in the world, which involves LimeWire and the entertainment industry, still continues. The Recording Industry Association of America keeps claiming that LimeWire owes trillions of dollars in damages for facilitating copyright infringement by distributing roughly 11.000 songs. However, the federal judge decided that such request is just “absurd”.


Once again, Judge Kimba Wood rejected claims of the music industry that the file-sharing service should pay up to $150.000 for each case of download of around 11.000 songs. The judge handed down the ruling of 14 pages length, saying that the plaintiffs’ viewpoint on statutory damages simply offended the canon that they should avoid endorsing statutory interpretations which would have led to clearly absurd results.

He pointed out that if Plaintiffs could pursue a statutory damage theory based on the amount of direct infringements per each piece of copyright, the damages in the case could reach into the trillions.

Last fall Judge Wood ordered the file-sharing service to cease and desist all of its infringing activities, satisfying the RIAA’s claims that the service has been enabling and inducing massive copyright violation. The entertainment industry has launched a lawsuit on behalf of a few music labels around 4 years ago, claiming that the industry lost millions of dollars because of LimeWire’s services. After the Recording Industry Association of America obtained an important victory against the file-sharing site, the sides started arguing on how much money should be paid.

The music industry claimed that LimeWire enabled potentially millions people to illegally download 11.000 copyrighted tracks in total; that’s why they believe to be entitled to statutory damages for every single unauthorized download. However, in her ruling Judge Wood claimed that the demands of the music labels would amount to more money than the entire industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph. In other words, such requests were considered absurd at the very least. Nevertheless, the judge decided that the court could allow the music industry to establish one statutory award for each copyrighted work.

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