Limewire, the peer-to-peer file sharing service, heard it’s death knell today when it finally settled with the major labels at $105 million.
If that sounds like a lot of money, you should think the Limewire owners lucky - the labels originally wanted more than $1.4 billion in damages.
A judge ordered the closure of the service last year after the US record industry blamed Limewire for a 52% slump in music sales. However, CMU report that critics said this was misleading, arguing that CD ripping and the labels missing an opportunity with Napster was also to blame. There is also suggestive evidence that the ability to buy single tracks rather than full albums affected overall music revenue.
Despite this, the labels consider the death of Limewire a huge victory.
"We are pleased to have reached a large monetary settlement following the court’s finding that both LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton personally liable for copyright infringement," said RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol in a statement.
He continued: "LimeWire wreaked enormous damage on the music community, helping contribute to thousands of lost jobs and fewer opportunities for aspiring artists … This hard fought victory is reason for celebration by the entire music community, its fans and the legal services that play by the rules."