Last fall, long-running file-sharing service LimeWire was shut down, as the company was found guilty of copyright infringement. At the time, a spokesman for LimeWire said, "While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward." Well, by the looks of things, "moving forward" means forking out a whole lot of money to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The peer-to-peer service has reached an out-of-court settlement with the organization, agreeing to pay $105 million in damages. This includes personal liability payments for founder Mark Gorton. So if you were thinking of starting your own file-sharing network, you might want to think again.
This is a victory for the record industry, but it may not be the triumph it was looking for. According to Digital Music News, the labels originally wanted much more in damages, and during court proceeds, proposed numbers were as high as $1.4 billion and as low as sub-$10 million. The suit was originally filed in 2007.
"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 RIAA boss Mitch Bainwol in a statement. "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."
This settlement is less than the $115 million paid by Kazaa in 2006.