Record labels have scored a victory in their litigation against Limewire
by getting a New York federal judge to agree they are entitled to seek statutory damages on a per-song rather than a per-album basis. The labels are also preparing for the coming trial next month by introducing an argument for why they deserves statutory damages.
On Monday, Judge Kimba Wood
made her latest ruling.
The plaintiffs have identified 9,715 sound recordings infringed on the LimeWire system. Damages could run as high as $150,000 per "work
," but Judge Wood had to figure out what constitutes a "work
LimeWire argued that where a record label made available a particular sound recording as part of an album, that record label should only be able to recover one statutory damage award for all the sound recordings contained on that album. Judge Wood disagreed, saying that individual tracks constitute "separate works
," even if they are issued "together as a unit
As a result of the ruling, the tab on LimeWire's damages could run as high as tens, or maybe even hundreds of billions of dollars.
But the record industry believes it deserves the high damages.
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