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RIAA Vs. Limewire, It’s Payback Time

The popular peer-2-peer file sharing service, Limewire, was shut down last year. Now, a court battle continues arguing how much money the service owes to record labels that first sued in 2006. The judge overlooking the case has already made two rulings this week that “strongly favors” the record labels.

The most recent order will allow the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) to get paid twice for more than one hundred songs. The labels have already received small settlements from individual downloaders but with the new ruling, they can get more damages from Limewire for the same music. In 2003, the RIAA sued tens of thousands of individuals who used Limewire to download music. Of course these weren’t your moderate downloaders, these were people who were uploading and downloading in mass quantities. The RIAA won a large victory in its previous “album versus song” issue. This case involved copyright laws to allow for up to $150,000 in damages when infringed.

According to PaidContent, this was a great precedent for the labels and owners of music copyrights. They claim that iTunes has helped kill off whole-album sales by allowing consumers to only purchase the tracks they desire. Apparently that wasn’t good for the recording industry but it meant that the iTunes “revolution” may have mistakingly risen damages for infringing music copyrights. At this point, it will get harder and harder for defendants to try to limit their damages from the pre-iTunes period. In any case we recommend to stop illegally downloading music as it can have severe consequences.

Photo Courtesy of Observer
Photo Courtesy of Nikke Lindqvist