Limewire Settles For $105 Million; How Much Of That Will Go To Artists?

from the you-get-three-guesses dept

In a move that’s hardly a surprise to anyone, Limewire and the RIAA have settled their lawsuit, with Limewire’s Mark Groton agreeing to pay $105 million to the labels. This particular trial was only about how much he should have to pay, and a settlement was inevitable, because Groton was already found to be guilty, and the judge had already declared that he, personally, was liable, rather than just the corporation (corporate veil? pierced!). So, at that point, you knew he had to settle. Limewire had already settled with the music publishers, who freaked out when Limewire sought to dig deep into records the publishers did not want public. Either way, as we noted when Limewire lost, this sort of result was inevitable. Limewire really did act quite like Grokster, and it’s really bizarre that Groton thought he could keep the site going without this result.

Of course, $105 million is significantly less than what the RIAA had been asking for — with the judge practically mocking the labels at one point for suggesting that Limewire was on the hook for $75 trillion — or “more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877.” $105 million is also significantly less than the $1 billion that was the whisper number making the rounds that the labels were demanding.

The real question, though, is what will happen to the money, and how much of it (if any) will actually go to any of the artists signed to those labels. If any RIAA label artists receive a check from this lawsuit, please let us know. I expect we’ll be waiting a long, long time. In the meantime, we’re still curious if this shutdown of Limewire has resulted in any increased sales. A couple months ago, we had an interesting discussion on the topic, and looked at some evidence on both sides. I think it may be too early to tell, but it’ll be worth watching to see what the eventual evidence shows.

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Companies: limewire, riaa

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Comments on “Limewire Settles For $105 Million; How Much Of That Will Go To Artists?”

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Jay (profile) says:

Answer: Zero

Torrentfreak already has the exclusive

So it’s become obvious to anyone that actually pays attention. The artists are used only as a mention of “piracy”. They get no benefits with these laws.

All of this was started “for the artists”. The RIAA has now shown that this is a farce. The same company also spent $3 million dollars, suing customers, to go after $400K. If this doesn’t put the RIAA on a collision course with artists, I don’t know what will.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Answer: Zero

The labels will pay the artists more than you freeloaders do.

Kind of an interesting statement, considering multiple studies showing that the biggest file sharers also spend the most on music.

Besides, why do you continue to insist that all of us are “freeloaders”? I’ve pointed out multiple times that I buy all my music. I actually just got a stack of wonderful new CDs in the mail yesterday.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Answer: Zero

(and, as has been shown on techdirt, many artists don’t care if their music gets pirated because that’s not where they make their money, they make their money via concert tickets and other means. So, apparently, the larger audience gained through promoting piracy pays them more than what they would get through a smaller audience that buys their record label controlled music).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Answer: Zero

Hmm, except for some reason we don’t see any artists complaining that Limewire got sued. Or that the PRO IP act is going to be passed.

Artists get paid for people attending their shows? Good. They’re being paid to perform.

There’s no reason why they shouldn’t also get paid for producing recorded music that people want to consume every day.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Any increased music sales might not be linked to shutting down Limewire. The increased sales might be due to the start of Amazon and Google cloud music services. Both services increase the value of a music collection by making it easier to use from multiple devices and thus could increase sales. Yes, both services do have annoying restrictions. However, they are probably more useful in their current conditions than they would be if Amazon and Google had complied with the requests of the record labels.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Let me play The Devil for a second . . .

(or possibly his advocate)

Imagine the RIAA arguing the following “logic”.

Amazon and Google’s evil unlicensed cloud music services are based on users uploading their music files.

Limewire, Grokster and other even worse piracy tools (eg, Rapid Share, FTP, HTTP, Email, the IntarTubes etc) are how you obtain these digital files to upload to cloud music services.

Therefore, Google and Amazon’s evil unlicensed cloud music services are liable for contributory infringement.

(Next up . . . ISP’s and companies that lay fiber optic and dig trenches are liable also.)

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: How Much Will Go to Artists

> C’mon now. How much of Limewire’s profits went to musicians?

An excellent point!

Thank you for pointing out how evil the RIAA is!

This is sort of like geometry proofs in high school:
1. Limewire == evil! (according to RIAA)
2. Limewire doesn’t pay artists. (your post)
3. RIAA doesn’t pay artists. (artists have publicly said so)
4. Therefore: RIAA == evil!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: How Much Will Go to Artists

The RIAA isn’t responsible for paying musicians, the labels are. And they do. Those cribs didn’t buy themselves.

You look like a fool when you talk about something you know nothing about, as you try to rationalize your illegal downloading addiction.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: How Much Will Go to Artists

The RIAA is the labels. It is their trade association – it acts on their behalf. Anything it wins would go back to the labels (and from there to the artists) unless they decided otherwise.

Also, how do you know that DannyB has every done any illegal downloading? The truth is – you don’t.

As you said:

You look like a fool when you talk about something you know nothing about,

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: How Much Will Go to Artists


Done with the snide remarks there? Okay, quick rebuttal time.

“The labels will pay the artists more”

Prove it. Youtube paid the labels $500K. How much did the artists get?

“Those cribs didn’t buy themselves.”
Yep, and the labels have them and still want them. I’m just glad the indie scene is coming up stronger and more willing to use filesharing than the “Big Boys” that are represented by the RIAA.

So I’ll be going to Jamendo. Meanwhile the big boys represented by the RIAA still get this one time big cash settlement. I’m sure that’s going to justify Mitch Bainwol’s paycheck. The reluctance to work with the labels in the future will be biting them in the butt a lot more than Google’s cloud is crimped by inability to compete.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Pierced Veil

No one defrauded anyone of anything

Actually that’s one case that hasn’t been decided yet – but if it goes a certain way the judgement will be that fraud has occurred. So your conclusion is premature at least.

BTW a freetard is a type of Saint – somewhere between a Holy Unmercenary and a fool for Christ’s sake. So what you dished out was a compliment.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Could the system be anymore broken?

“RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy previously told TorrentFreak that the ?damages? accrued from piracy-related lawsuits will not go to any of the artists, but towards funding more anti-piracy campaigns. ?Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs,? he said.”

So the courts hand over $105 million to the RIAA which, after paying the legal team; if they can even collect that sum, has earmarked that money to bribe (lobby) Congress. So the government awards money to an organization that plans to give that money to the government. Job done.

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