Movie Studios Suddenly Drop Lawsuit Against Limewire

from the you-can't-get-blood-from-a-beaten-dead-horse...-or-something dept

After a long legal battle, Limewire finally agreed to pay $105 million in damages to the RIAA to settle its infringement lawsuit. The RIAA had previously bandied about much higher numbers, including some rhetorical discussion of the upper limits of statutory damages, which would have put the total "damages" in the range of $75 billion, something the presiding judge pointed out would have exceeded the recording industry's entire combined income since the invention of the phonograph in 1877.

$105 million isn't as much as the labels wanted, but it was enough. Once that was secured, some indie labels filed suit in an attempt to score a little cash as well. In a move both unsurprising (lawsuits are better than innovating!) and surprising (Limewire's owner not entirely made of money), major movie studios like Viacom, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. filed a copyright infringement suit against the shuttered P2P service.

The studios actually moved for summary judgement in this case, stating that the same principles applied in the RIAA's win could be applied to their claims as well. That was back in October of 2012. Since that point, almost nothing has happened, as is evidenced by the lack of activity on the docket.

Now, with little fanfare and even less explanation, the studios are dismissing with prejudice their suit against Limewire.

And with a signature and a date today, the more than $200 million copyright lawsuit by Hollywood against the file sharing site is over. A NYC-based federal judge today granted final approval to Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Viacom, Disney, Comedy Partners and Warner Bros' request to dismiss their almost two year case against LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton. Filed on October 30, the motion for a voluntary dismissal with prejudice was approved by U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr on Thursday.

Considering the studios have been more than willing to spend money to make money, it seems unlikely they would have dropped this case simply because Limewire would have put up the same sort of resistance it did in its battle with the RIAA. No matter how much the industry is "hurt" by file sharing, its leaders always seem to have their legal departments fully bankrolled. (This is due to the fact that the labels and studios frequently convert their lawsuit "winnings" directly into more lawsuits. The artists that are getting so screwed by file sharing continue to be screwed by their so-called "representatives," who rarely kick over any percentage of the settlements unless publicly shamed into doing so.)

Deadline's theory is that the studios were offered a little something for their time by Limewire itself.

However, sources tell me that the studios received a hefty multimillion-dollar settlement.
That may be, or it could be that a long-defunct service that fell out of public favor years ago may not be the best opponent to waste a largely symbolic victory on. Remember, the studios and labels don't just want to extract damages from websites and services -- they also want to "educate" potential file sharers by exploiting the statutory damages provision to its fullest. Nothing educates better than fear, apparently and reminding people that they could on the hook for up to $150,000 per violation is much more "enlightening" than being bound by any mathematical realities.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 3:43am

    Why do you say "Drop"?

    The lawsuit was not dropped, it was settled, you do understand they are not the same thing right ??

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 3:47am

    Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    Then why dismiss it with prejudice? That's not what happens in a settlement procedure. Having been in a lawsuit myself, the terminology has very specific meanings.

     

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  3.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 3:50am

    Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    "Deadline's theory is that the studios were offered a little something for their time by Limewire itself.

    However, sources tell me that the studios received a hefty multimillion-dollar settlement."

    Did you read past the headline? The lawsuit has been dropped however, there's unconfirmed sources saying that it's been settled.

    Do you have a link to a source that confirms that there's been a settlement (in which case TD usually update the article to reflect the new facts)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 3:56am

    Err doesnt the riaa represent sony/universal ect? So wouldnt that be like taking a seco d bite if they then sued individually?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 3:58am

    Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    It was dismissed with prejudice, as that was a term of the settlement, it is what the plaintiff agree too, defendant agreed to pay a lot of money if the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the case and not make another one on that particular charge.

    It is what happens (all the time) if that is the terms of the settlement, as in this case, (and most others).

    why on earth would the defendant pay $105 million, and allow the plaintiff lodge the same case tomorrow.. that does not happen !!!!

    You need a new lawyer !!!

     

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  6.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 4:04am

    Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    my understanding is that with prejudice means they can not bring that action again.
    Many of the Doe's targeted by copyright trolls are dismissed with prejudice once they settle. Its one thing if the lawyer "promises" they won't move forward, it is another when there is a legal stipulation on the record.

     

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  7.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 4:18am

    Could it be they are just trying to clean up the image a little?
    Pretenda, Malibu Media, and scores of other seedy little trolls running their "extortion" schemes (IMHO) are gaining traction.
    The hugely laughable failures of the DMCA automated notices demanding that the corporations who hired them be delisted.
    The broken YouTube ContentID system taking out harmless videos, or being used to steal money by scammers.
    SOPA.
    The list goes on and on... and its breaking into more mainstream content lines.

    They have been trying the kinder gentler tact lately...
    6 Strikes - it is a fair system and nothing bad happens unless you get 6... unless the ISP decides otherwise.

    Educational programs in our schools, funneling the **AA's will to children via the Center for Copyright Information. (6 Strikes program host).

    It is the little people who are hurt when you download!

    The RIAA got backhanded hard, and most of their recent public appearances have been silent tacit approval of what the MPAA is doing. They have to present a unified front, otherwise people will start to wonder and talk about how MP3 sales have shifted to the $1 price point for digital, yet movies still charge a hefty premium for access to clunky systems that often fail.

    One might think they are going dark, trying to line up the next insane set of laws that will certainly eliminate all filesharing everywhere at once... this time...we're certain...it'll work...won't get broken...no we are positive this will do it!

    The last place the **AA's want to be right now is near a courtroom.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 4:29am

    .... and the artists receive nothing - again.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 4:42am

    That education campaign is going so well, look at how piracy disappeared.

     

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  10.  
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    saulgoode (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 4:57am

    Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    The RIAA lawsuit was settled after a finding of guilt was made. The movie studios' lawsuit was "dropped" before there was any finding of guilt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    droozilla (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    In other news...

    Who the hell still uses Limewire? Even in 2012, were people actually using that pile of crapware?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 5:18am

    Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    different law suit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    @ "PaulT": Do you have a link to a source that confirms that there's been a settlement (in which case TD usually update the article to reflect the new facts)?


    It's the "TD" minion's responsibility to get the facts clear in the first place. This is classic Techdirt sequence. Despite knowing were/are rumors of a settlement, the minion went with unequivocal "Drop" in the headline; when that's pointed out as wrong, a fanboy-troll AC gainsays the first, then fanboy-troll with screen name tries to off-load responsibility to fact-check onto readers.

    Anyhoo, key point is minion also tries to spin this as the studios gave up instead of settled, and that's likely wrong.

    Techdirt's motto: The confusion has become so complete that it's beyond correction.

    01:41:26[b-682-8]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    That took a lot of words to say "no". Are you also going to go and attack the source, Deadline, for this headline?

    "Studios Formally Drop $200M LimeWire Copyright Lawsuit"

    Of course you're not, that would require both intellectual honesty and not having a pathological obsession with attacking one site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    DannyB (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 6:07am

    It was not $75 Billion, it was $75 TRILLION

    See: https://www.google.com/#q=riaa+%2475+trillion

    The RIAA would not be insane enough to ask for $75 Billion.

    Instead, they asked for the perfectly reasonable amount of $75 TRILLION. More than the entire global GDP.

    Obviously, Tim, you are under valuing the music. :-)

    If the entire world cannot pay $75 TRILLION, then they should not be listening to music. If you can't pay, then don't download it and don't listen to it. :-) Feelthy pirates -- all music and movies ever created should be locked up where nobody can access them ever again -- to protect the artists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    Re:

    different divisions of the conglomerate.
    They are separate entities, which helps when they play accounting games making sure there are no profits left from record breaking sales figures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    a fanboy-troll AC....



    You realize that phrase describes YOU more than anyone else don't you, Blue? (Actually, on second thought, you probably don't realize it all, since your delusions of grandeur cloud your vision).

    1) You are obviously a "Fan-boy" since your here every single day and have a compulsive need to comment on most every article.

    2) You are obviously a troll, evidenced by your need to derail every thread.

    3) You are also an anonymous coward. Too scared to get a login because you are afraid of actually having your past comments attributed to you.

    This duck certainly looks like a "fan-boy troll AC" to me. Just sayin'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    darryl just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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  19.  
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    Jake, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 7:03am

    Does anyone even use Limewire anymore?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Drew, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 7:04am

    They should have asked for 4,789 trillion "the value of earth" since that's what they seem to think they're entitled to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    "Too scared to get a login because you are afraid of actually having your past comments attributed to you."

    I'd say he was too scared before, but now, thanks to yours truly, he can't. At least, he can't have the user-name Out_of_the_blue...unless he wants to try hacking the account, or formally accuse me of fraud and lose the case?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    Re: In other news...

    Exactly what I was thinking. But what about others? I tried Frostwire once, and the two movies I downloaded had viruses(which my antivirus program found immediately). Torrents are excruciatingly slow. Why bother with any of that P2P crap? It's direct downloads only, for me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    oh great the idiot "due process" fuckwit is on !!!

    You've yet to explain what that means !! Mr Idiot.
    I guess you don't know what it means, that's why you say it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2013 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Why do you say "Drop"?

    You not knowing what it means is a clear indication you're not in any position to make demands, let alone call someone else "fuckwit".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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