Digital Music

LimeWire Settles With RIAA, Labels For $105 Million, Artists Get Nothing

image from www.google.com 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.

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5 Comments

  1. “Our ongoing anti-piracy programs…” a.k.a. our army of lawyers.
    I’m glad Limewire got shut down, but sweet jesus, does the RIAA need to hire an image consultant or what?

  2. The RIAA just Rolled and settled for 105 Million, which is less than they have spent! Why? They won the case and it was going to the Penalty phase where they could recover a Billion Dollars!
    Do you think it was CBS being sued that caused this “Sudden” change?
    The Sumner Redstone owned CBS/CNET/Viacom Corporate Conglomerate is an MPAA member through the Paramount Pictures division. you really must ask yourself, “Why the HELL was Sumner Redstone and CBS distributing LimeWire?”
    Actually, “Why was the MPAA distributing LimeWire?” So, is the MPAA is planning to sue people for copyright infringement for software distributed by one of their own members? Ahhhh…. Interesting….. CBS/Cnet were even selling paid “Pro LimeWire Versions”, They had comparison tests with known copyrighted bands and songs to test the effectiveness of Limewire against other p2p software!
    It was argued in TechCrunch last year that CBS was handing over records of copyright infringing users of it’s Last.FM division to the RIAA. Was CBS buying CNET and continuing to distribute p2p software some “Set-Up” or deal the MPAA or the RIAA?
    Why did the RIAA “Roll Over” for only $105 Million for a decade of trillions of downloads from LimeWire when the RIAA demanded and got a Judgement from Jammie Thomas, the single mom for 1.92 million for just 24 songs? The US Justice Department actually stepped in on Jammie Thomas’ appeal to lower the amount and the US Justice Department FOUGHT and successfully argued FOR THE RIAA against lowering the award.
    Can’t you just smell something is wrong here? In the past 5 years the RIAA must have spent more than 105 million dollars to bring the suit against LimeWire. The RIAA had already won, it was in the bag!
    Moreover, Limewire’s Mark Gorton has substantial assets in excess of 105 million dollars! The RIAA MUST have had another motive for this  sudden “Quick Settlement” . 
    I think there is more to the Limewire Lawsuit against CBS/Cnet for distributing the Software than Meets the eye! What kind of dirt and scandal could that CBS/Limewire/RIAA lawsuit bring out!

  3. I love the the one eighty of the gist of this article- the same people who supported the existence of these sites that have absolutely gutted the songwriters- all the while calling them ignorant mouth breathers for not embracing this amazing new world where everyone makes money from their music except them….. NOW they are so alarmed that monies arent flowing back to the the poor victims that deserve it.

  4. “Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs” My opinion?…Those ‘recouped funds’ will ONLY find its way into the pockets of the pigs and special interests running the major record labels so they can pay off their yachts, mansions, and Ferrari’s while the artists who actually MADE the music get nothing (as always).
    My solution? I believe ALL music artists should stop making music (for an undisclosed amount of time) until ALL major record labels and RIAA go bankrupt so they can no longer reap the financial benefits the artists deserved 100% of the entire time.

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