New York – File-sharing service LimeWire will pay $105
million to settle copyright infringement claims from the four major record
labels, avoiding the $1.4 billion in damages award the labels had been seeking
in court proceedings. A federal judge last year found LimeWire and founder Mark
Gorton guilty of copyright infringement and ordered the service shut down; a
separate trial heard over the past two weeks intended to determine the amount
of damages Gorton and the company would pay.
“The significant settlement
underscores the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in the Grokster case —
designing and operating services to profit from the theft of the world’s
greatest music comes with a stiff price,” Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), said in a statement.
resolution of this case is another milestone in the continuing evolution of
online music to a legitimate marketplace that appropriately rewards creators.”
LimeWire attorney Joseph Baio noted that the settlement amount was far less
than what the labels had initially sought.
“In the recent past, the
plaintiffs have pressed for a $75 trillion verdict. The Court labeled that
claim ‘absurd.’ Plaintiffs then claimed that they suffered $40 to $50 billion
of damages and that Lime Wire was responsible for it all. At other times they
have claimed that the amount of damages exceeded $1.4 billion,” Baio told