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Music Piracy The Courts

Limewire Being Sued For 75 Trillion 545

DarthVain writes "13 record companies are trying to sue Limewire for $75 Trillion. The NYC judge in the case thinks it is 'absurd'. Its almost like these media companies are their worst enemy trying to make themselves look ridiculous. From the article: "The record companies, which had demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, had argued that Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act provided for damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable. For a popular site like Lime Wire, which had thousands of users and millions of downloads, Wood held that the damage award would be staggering under this interpretation. 'If plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, defendants' damages could reach into the trillions,' she wrote. 'As defendants note, plaintiffs are suggesting an award that is more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877.'"
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Limewire Being Sued For 75 Trillion

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  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:50PM (#35590918)

    75 trillion dollars is more than the GDP of the planet in 2010.

    62 trillion dollars was the total global GDP in 2010 according to the IMF []

  • Re:PR Stunt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:51PM (#35590938)

    Didn't seem to bother them when they "pirated" artists works for Greatest Hits CDs, and then never paid the royalties. They Canadian record companies owe trillions of dollars.

    A case of "Laws don't apply to we, but they apply to thee." Double standard. Class system.

  • Re:75 trillion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by halfEvilTech ( 1171369 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:52PM (#35590946)

    and out of curiousity what is the current combined GDP of every country on the planet? I am fairly sure it would be less than this.

    I guess they will never be truely satified with their revenue stream until every last penny, yen, euro, etc is in their infinite pockets.

  • The penalty for an excessive lawsuit should be >= the difference between the claimed damage and the actual damage.

    In my dream-world legal system the court would rule that "yes, limewire contributed to some copying, so they owe the record companies $50K or so in actual lost sales --- but the record industry should be fined $75-trillion-minus-that-$50K for wasting taxpayer money having the justice-system hear that absurd suit."

  • Re:Some perspective (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @04:07PM (#35591218)

    More accurately, it's about $750,000 per tax-payer in the USA. And ridiculously more when you break down the people who only pay a small percentage of the taxes.

    A bundle of $100 bills totaling 75 trillion bucks would weigh 10,000 tons (20 million pounds). It would be what you see in the linked photo below (notice the human for size comparison, in the very left bottom corner) . . . MULTIPLIED BY 75 MORE PILES HIGH. []

  • by h00manist ( 800926 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @04:14PM (#35591340) Journal

    And you don't think that some crappy mp3s of Michael Jackson are worth every penny that?!?

    The scariest (or most interesting) part of this is that it's not so much that the lawyers said so, but the law itself says that is the amount. So if anyone is wrong here, it's the law. The plaintiff is indeed simply asking for the damage amounts based on what is described in the law at the proper calcuation method. .

  • Re:PR Stunt (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @04:54PM (#35591854)

    > I hate the RIAA as much as the next fellow, but people need to be paid for things they produce.


    I question your basic underpinning of "need" philosophy.

    In my spare time, I work on open-source, produce music, create art, and I don't feel a "need" to be paid. The only reason people need money is because society literally "bought" into some lack of scarcity argument, and to 'survive' in the "modern" you need money, because everyone else demands it.

    The sun, earth, plants, and animals all freely produce for us, but yet it is only us 'advanced' humans that demand payment from one another. Of course I expect to compensated for my time & skill but that is only to be able to "afford" my basic needs. Once those are met, I am able to produce for the benefit of everyone -- money is just a bonus -- I am already living my joy by creating. The day is coming when every man, woman, and child will have as much electricity as they need, as much food as they need, and their basic physical needs are all freely provided. Until we get to that point in a few centuries, we should be questioning: What exactly is money? Why is it needed? What would it be like to live in a world where it isn't needed?

    Food for thought.

  • by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @05:26PM (#35592206) Homepage

    The worst thing about these laws is that they aren't logical.

    It is akin to charging a bank robber for every note they stole, not for the crime as a whole. Or suing someone for defamation per word.

    Sure, Limewire exposed themselves to being sued, but suing per download is just farcical. All this will do is damage brands and end up turning fans against the record companies.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein