Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Record Companies Sue LimeWire For $75 Trillion

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 7:15 PM

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LimeWire was a P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing network in which users shared music and video files. One would hope that the files they shared were obtained legally. One would hope. Record industry bulldog RIAA, however, didn't think so ...

In 2006, the RIAA settled with Kazaa, another P2P network (it is now a subscription service) for $115 million. Shortly thereafter, the RIAA sued LimeWire for piracy in federal court. According to betanews.com, the RIAA "accused the New York-based Lime Group LLC of facilitating the trade of illegal music files between its users. The labels are seeking damages, including $150,000 per occurrence of an illegally traded file."

In October 2010, a judge handed down an injunction stating that LimeWire must disable the "searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality."

This is what you'll find on the landing page of limewire.com now:

ATTENTION
LIMEWIRE IS UNDER A COURT ORDER DATED OCTOBER 26, 2010 TO STOP DISTRIBUTING THE LIMEWIRE SOFTWARE. A COPY OF THE INJUNCTION CAN BE FOUND HERE. LIMEWIRE LLC, ITS DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS, ARE TAKING ALL STEPS TO COMPLY WITH THE INJUNCTION. WE HAVE VERY RECENTLY BECOME AWARE OF UNAUTHORIZED APPLICATIONS ON THE INTERNET PURPORTING TO USE THE LIMEWIRE NAME. WE DEMAND THAT ALL PERSONS USING THE LIMEWIRE SOFTWARE, NAME, OR TRADEMARK IN ORDER TO UPLOAD OR DOWNLOAD COPYRIGHTED WORKS IN ANY MANNER CEASE AND DESIST FROM DOING SO. WE FURTHER REMIND YOU THAT THE UNAUTHORIZED UPLOADING AND DOWNLOADING OF COPYRIGHTED WORKS IS ILLEGAL.

Shuttering LimeWire wasn't enough. Now, 13 record companies are suing the file-sharing network for $75 trillion. Not million, not billion. T.R.I.L.L.I.O.N. Sound ludicrous?

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Manhattan federal district court judge Kimba Wood thought so, too. In her ruling, she calls the request absurd and states that "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."

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