LimeWire Being Sued for $75 TRILLION!

The music industry wants LimeWire to pay up to $75 trillion in damages after losing a copyright infringement claim. That’s right . . . $75 trillion. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood has labeled this request “absurd.”

You’re telling me. To put that number into perspective (I bet a lot of you didn’t even know “trillion” was a real number), the U.S. GDP is around 14 trillion — less than one fifth of what the music industry is requesting. Heck, the GDP of the entire world is between 59 and 62 trillion. That’s right, the music industry wants LimeWire to pay more money than exists in the entire world.

Popular file-sharing service LimeWire was shut down last October, after Judge Wood found them liable for copyright infringement in May 2010.

According to Law.com, the RIAA and the 13 record companies that are suing LimeWire for copyright infringement have demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, and have claimed that Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act allow them to request damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable. In other words, the RIAA thinks it should be entitled to damages not only for the individual works, but for every time that work was infringed (i.e. downloaded by another user).

At the moment, about 11,000 songs have been identified as “infringed” material, and each song has probably been downloaded thousands of times. The RIAA thinks it should be compensated for each individual download.

Judge Wood disagrees. In a 14-page ruling (PDF), Judge Wood said that the music industry is entitled only to a “single statutory damage award from Defendants per work infringed,” for several reasons, including “Absurd Result.” According to the document, the “Plaintiffs’ position on statutory damages also offends the ‘canon that we should avoid endorsing statutory interpretations that would lead to absurd results.'”

The document goes on to read: “As it stands now, Defendants face a damage award that ‘could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, if not over a billion dollars.'”

Judge Wood also points out that “if one multiplies the maximum statutory damage award ($150,000) by approximately 10,000 post-1972 works, Defendants face a potential award of over a billion dollars in statutory damages alone. If Plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, Defendants’ damages could reach into the trillions. As Defendants note, 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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42 Comments on “LimeWire Being Sued for $75 TRILLION!”

  1. nina
    May 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    The music industry wants even more than the billions of dollars they have?

  2. Sieanba
    May 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    How is this even realistic? Obviously limewire cannot repay this absurd amount of money..what now? What are the next steps?

  3. May 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Thanks but I think I know what real numbers are.

  4. James Mabry
    May 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    I promise to give $100 to everyone who can show me proof that Limewire has commited copyright infringement.

    • Hunter Greer
      June 17, 2012 at 12:03 am #

      The fact that they are allowing people to download a song without paying for it. Yep, that’s copyright infringement. Don’t try to defend yourself by saying the music industry doesn’t need anymore money, that has nothing to do with it. It’s a moral issue, stealing music is the same as stealing something from a store.

      • Sapio
        September 29, 2012 at 11:27 am #

        This is a bit late but it’s not the same thing. If you steal a jacket from a store they the store can no longer sell one of their jackets to someone else, because you took it and you took it without paying them. If you download a file however, the music industry can still sell the file because you created a copy of it for yourself and didn’t remove it from anyone else’s possession. For a more tangible example, it’s like going to a store and taking photos of each page of a calender then printing the photos and using them instead of buying the calender in on – that’s not illegal (maybe frowned upon but the law won’t come after you), and it’s under intense debate if just because it’s faster to download an mp3 than it is to print photos of pages of a calender if its morally wrong. Certainly however, downloading music is nothing close to robbery.

      • September 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

        The music industry is in love with the culture of capitalism — but not really. Just the parts that actually benefit them. Their whole argument bypasses the laws of supply and demand, which is a pretty fundamental part of our economy. The idea that you can put artificial limits on supply and then get pissy is what’s really absurd. If you could download a loaf of bread, enough to feed the entire world for pennies a day, but a coalition of bread makers was making sure we all paid a premium for it, that would be a moral issue — and a pretty damn clear one.

      • Michael
        September 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

        If you’re suggesting that a group of people would scheme to deliberately prevent much of the world from gaining access to bread, that would indeed be a grave moral issue. I’m not sure it’s comparable to people trying to download the latest Jonas Bros album though…

      • lol
        September 30, 2012 at 1:00 am #

        Oh come on. The whole copying vs. stealing thing is so full of holes it amazes me that anyone would use it as an excuse.

        It you take something, whether copying or taking the original, without paying, it’s stealing. Period.

        The analogy you gave doesn’t even begin to compare or make any moral sense. You can lie to yourself to justify it but don’t lie to others about it and play it off as “fact”. That’s pathetic.

  5. Sally
    May 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    lmao Limewire barely had 100mill. let alone a tril

    • Justys
      May 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Limewire was a completely free company, how are they going to sue a non-profit organization?

  6. May 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    $75m, huh? *lol* And I thought I was a big dreamer…

  7. smallishswede
    May 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    I don’t know where they are getting their numbers from, if each of the 11,000 songs was downloaded 1,000 times, that’s 11,000,000 downloads,that means that by trying to sue for $75,000,000,000,000, they’re valuing each download at just under $7,000,000

    • May 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

      I noticed the same thing. Where in the bloody hell are they getting this ridiculous amount of money in charges?

      • May 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

        its more likely that each song was downloaded 1 million times which makes there valuation stand at 1.46

      • Kyle
        June 17, 2012 at 10:08 am #

        its not the price of the song you are getting but the price of the infringement that LW made with those thousands of songs thousands of times.

  8. eeZi
    May 21, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    Bullshit! Music industry is just trying to milk more money out of us. Music is good, but does it save lives? No, hospitals do. But the music industry gets far money than the health sector. What more do they want!

    • Hunter Greer
      June 17, 2012 at 12:08 am #

      That’s not true at all. Pharmaceuticals is the third most profit producing industry in the world. The entertainment industry isn’t even in the top 10.

    • lauren
      June 17, 2012 at 3:23 am #

      I agree.

    • Kyle
      June 17, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Oh! I forgot, please tell me more about how LimeWire is saving lives.
      Also, the music industry isn’t there because they think music needs to be released. No, they are there to make money. It’s this thing called a job that helps support a family. You can’t give out jobs if your money is being stolen by LimeWire.

    • Michael
      June 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      - “Bullshit! Music industry is just trying to milk more money out of us.”

      Cry me a river. If you’re content to go through life dreaming up notions and conspiracies about how the big bad industry machine is constantly trying to rob your innocent, unsuspecting self, then very well – that’s you’re choice. A quick question for you though: how much money has the music industry “milked” out of you, personally, this year? Are they on shady street corners picking your pockets? No. Are they loan sharks selling you products designed to bankrupt you? No. Are they a form of Government to whom you’re paying tax? No. Are you forced to use their products? No. Could you actually map out for me the structure of a typical record label, and show me the actual human beings who work there (trying to earn a living), and point out to me what those human beings have done wrong to milk you personally of your money? My guess: no.

      When you say they’re “milking” money out of you, are you simply referring to the fact that you don’t want to pay a few dollars to actually buy a CD or digital download?

      – “Music is good, but does it save lives? No, hospitals do. But the music industry gets far money than the health sector.”

      And? Cheese burgers don’t save lives either – maybe we should abandon the idea of paying for our fast food, since it’s not as important as health? Cars don’t save lives either. Maybe we should stop giving money to car manufacturers too. Same with the film industry – after all, why should you have to pay for that trip to the movies you had last week? It’s not like films save lives – yeh, you’re right, even though we really enjoy music and film, I say f*ck em all, they don’t deserve my money (even though I enjoy and gain entertainment from what they do) since the health sector is struggling.

      Nobody’s forcing you to listen to music. But if you do WISH to listen to music, then it seems morally repugnant to do so at the expense of another human being’s time, effort and money (that is, the time, effort and money of the bill-paying, bread-winning artists, producers, engineers, independent studio owners, independent record label owners, managers, marketing directors and many more, who work to produce the music which you steal – and not only steal, but steal while having the gaul to accuse THEM of being malicious, tyrannical, scheming party, trying to rob innocent little you). Of course, alternatively, you could just construct some half-baked argument about the health sector being more important than music, thus justifying your stealing, and just leave it at that.

      – “What more do they want!”

      The same as any other business and profession in existence: to be paid fairly for the services they provide you with (services which you are not forced to accept, but may wish to enjoy).

      Why not take a few moments to educate yourself? There are a great deal of information out there. Only yesterday, I read this extremely well-written article.
      http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/letter-to-emily-white-at-npr-all-songs-considered/

      • Anonymous
        September 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

        Dude shut up… Your reply is so long I didn’t even finish it… You claim to be some kind of angel who never ever has stolen anything in your whole life… Music industry still lose money either way… I could easily buy a cd at the store, burn copies and sell them cheap to anybody I want.. Wouldn’t that be considered losing money for the music industry… What difference would that make compared to downloading music from limewire.. Its inevitable…

      • Michael
        September 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

        Maybe if you’d actually read it all, you might have something credible to respond with. But let’s not let facts or logic get in the way of you opening your trap and letting whatever inane thoughts that pop into your head fall out.

        To answer your question: no, actually, I haven’t ever stolen anything. You can make fun of that if you want, I’m not ashamed of it. As for your point that: “Music industry still lose money either way… I could easily buy a cd at the store, burn copies and sell them cheap to anybody I want.” Yes, correct, that would also be illegal. What on earth makes you think that I would be against internet piracy, but somehow find your suggestion acceptable? Seriously, that’s the full extend of your powers of reasoning and logic?

        Since you didn’t get to the end of my last response, you’ll have missed this. Educate yourself. Or don’t, it’s your freedom to choose to remain totally and hopelessly ignorant if you wish. http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/letter-to-emily-white-at-npr-all-songs-considered/

  9. jim
    May 21, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    the music industry is a bussiness…just like football…

    people should pay for music as the people who create it work their whole lives to do it..

    • May 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

      Did you even read the article? The music companies are asking for more money *THAN THERE IS IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD*, a few times over. That’s a little over the top, don’t you think?

  10. May 21, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    Reblogged this on ProduSoul and commented:
    Copyright Enforcement Gone Mad

  11. May 23, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    This whole copyright nonsense is driving me insane. Did you know that the majority of music artists don’t see a penny of your money? The bulk of their income is not generated from online store downloads, nor was it ever generated from you purchasing their albums. By purchasing an album, your paying the person who distributed said album with the hope that they’re paying artist’s salaries. Music artists sign an agreement prior to production that states, to compensate for advertisement revenue, we own your soul. If supporting music is what you people care about, go to a concert, and stop complaining about piracy. There’s been piracy since the days of mix tapes, nothing has changed, and this is getting out of hand now. The only point that the music industry has made over the last five years, is that their bubblegum pop bull kills brain cells, and that they do not know what a computer is or how the internet works. Oh noes, interwebs, how does I use them. Try bashing your f***ing head into the keyboard a few times, see where it gets you.

    • May 23, 2012 at 2:12 am #

      you’re*

      • jesshoemate
        June 17, 2012 at 1:48 am #

        He was right in every use of the word “your.” You, good sir, fail as a troll. Good day.

      • Anonymous
        September 30, 2012 at 5:25 am #

        “By purchasing an album, your paying the person who” is wrong; what it was supposed to be was ‘album, you are paying’ and therefore ‘you’re paying’ so – in fact – Psion was correct in correcting the mistake in his OWN comment so couldn’t have been trollin’ even if his correction was wrong. No need to be so smug, especially when your own response is wrong.

    • Kyle
      June 17, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      okay, think of your job/occupation. assuming you have one, you provide a service of some kind. imagine that most of your potential costumers are getting your service for free through some other means. not so nice is it? that’s why it is a big deal, because it is stealing from other peoples hard work.

  12. Dante Hector
    May 24, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Ha, this makes me laugh how stupid humans can be.

  13. bubba0077
    June 17, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    The GDP is how much wealth is *created* in a year, not how much exists. So this isn’t more money than exists, but more money than was created in the last year. Still a ridiculous amount.

  14. Jamie
    June 17, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    The music industry can’t pretend that if people couldn’t get that stuff from limewire they would have bought it all instead. No real casually actually logically entails that. People would have not bought as much as they can download for free because clearly there isn’t even $75 trillion in existence – let alone in the pockets of the consumers. Secondly they should be adapting to a new format of industry where free access is instead promoting the bands live performance – the experience of which can’t be obtained illegally. Maybe this means its time to cut out the middle men between the bands and their audiences and free music from the chains of the capitalist machine!

  15. June 17, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    This is just another example of lawyers attempting to maximize their profits …

  16. Kyle
    June 17, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    They are just trying to make a point with the $75trillion. They know its unrealistic but they are showing that it really is a big deal. Sure, free stuff is convenient but its stealing. Immoral. Nothing is ever free.

  17. June 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    This is some bullshit,the music industry,75 trillion dollars?? Lol this is the funniest shit I ever heard in my life!!!

  18. SANTANA
    June 18, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    ILLUMINATIIII

  19. Conrad
    June 19, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    @conrad_travis : this is ridiculous, this case is not going to prove anything- another company probably already started up and is doing what Limewire was doing.

  20. Tamzin
    September 29, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Asking for more money then there is in the actuall world is in major OTT consept.
    Where will they get the money from?! Even if they fork EVERY PENNY out of everyone in the world it’s still not gonna be enough! They really need to think about the differences of Reasonable and Rediculsy OTT.

  21. Kenneth
    September 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    hahaha. if all the people in the world would give 1 dollar each to help limewire, still no chance to pay 75trillion

  22. lol
    September 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Haha, fuck them. Just file for bankruptcy and laugh in their faces.

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