LimeWire has settled a long running court battle with the RIAA for $105 million. The court had already shut LimeWire down. But during the award phase of the trial, labels continued to blame the company for the dramatic multi-year sales drop. LimeWire countered that label ineptness caused the decline and used damaging statements from label execs to make their case. The court award could have ranged as high as $1.4 billion or been cut far lower if the jury saw RIAA tactics as heavy handed. How much of the $105 million are artists likely to see?
Exact details have not been released, but traditionally awards have been used to fight piracy rather than to remunerate damaged artists. In fact, RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy recently told TorrentFreak that damages from piracy lawsuits never go to artists. “Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs,” he said.
Uncompensated artists meant nothing to an RIAA ready to declare victory yesterday. "The resolution of this case is another milestone in the continuing evolution of online music to a legitimate marketplace that appropriately rewards creators,” RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol said in a statement.
On that point, many artists agree with the RIAA. It is the "marketplace" in the form of fans; and not the RIAA, major labels or a $105 million settlement that "rewards" them. It sounds like the RIAA just inadvertently endorsed the direct to fan movement. Too bad, the $105 million won't go to help fund it.