The RIAA and labels gained a big victory back in October of 2010 when LimeWire, the onetime king of peer-to-peer file-sharing websites, was forced to shut down. Now, about 8 months after the “permanent injunction” and five years of litigation, LimeWire and the four major labels have settled out of court for the price of $105 million.
As Digital Music News points out, the $105 million payout is not exactly as devastating of a punishment as the labels originally wanted to give LimeWire. At one point, the labels wanted LimeWire to pay trillions for their “crime” until Federal Judge Kimba Wood deemed the request as absurd. Despite the settlement being minimal compared to their original request, the RIAA seemed extremely pleased with the punishment, with chairman Mitch Bainwol saying the following:
“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. 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.”
For once, the major labels actually have something to celebrate. Sure, album sales might still be in the toilet and labels are getting sold left and right. But research back in March showed that internet piracy has decreased since LimeWire was shut down. Though it is only a matter of time till people find a new source for free music, the fact that they’ve taken down one of the major sources of internet piracy is still a major victory. Now labels just need to make up the money they lost from all those years of litigation… I’d hate to see those lawyer bills.