The ongoing legal drama between file sharing program LimeWire and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has taken another twist, with at least one attorney claiming LimeWire owes the RIAA more than $1.5 trillion.
Specifically, Kelly M. Klaus, with the Munger, Tolles & Olson law firm, believes LimeWire has to pay $1.5 trillion for 200,000,000 alleged copyrighted music downloads, which is $750 per infringement.
“As in Grokster and Aimster, Plaintiffs have been and will be irreparably harmed because Lime Wire will most likely be liable for more in damages than it will ever be able to pay,” Klaus said in a legal brief. ““Plaintiffs seek statutory damages under the Copyright Act as a remedy for Lime Wire’s unlawful conduct. (First Amended Complaint ¶¶ 74, 87, 99). Where the defendant’s conduct is willful, the range of statutory damages runs from $750 to $150,000. See 17 U.S.C. § 504(a)(2)-(c).”
It’s obvious the RIAA won’t be able to secure such a major monetary settlement — and it’s just further proof the RIAA is only in it for the money. If the RIAA wants to try and figure out how to convince consumers to stop using P2P, John Doe lawsuits and shutting down P2P clients is the wrong way to go about it.
Furthermore, there are several new LimeWire-like clients that are already available — and shutting down the original LimeWire — seems like it could be a waste of time. If anything, it’ll be a morale booster and money maker for the RIAA, but it will mean very little.
The RIAA has filed an injunction asking for LimeWire to be permanently closed down, although the service has been given a temporary reprieve. Critics argue that shutting down LimeWire will do very little in the overall battle against P2P piracy, with numerous other P2P services already flourishing.
LimeWire has been under higher U.S. government scrutiny since May 2009, with lawmakers then calling for file sharing legislation. Since then, LimeWire has been under growing pressure to crackdown on piracy – and has been unable to appease the RIAA and lawmakers.