Limewire settles with music industry for $105 million

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

LimeWire has finally agreed to pay $105 million for promoting illegal filesharing after a protracted five-year legal battle with record execs.

The settlement was reached out of court with 13 record companies, only days after the start of a trial accusing the company of "massive scale infringement."

According to RIAA, music sales in the U.S. weighed in at $14.5 billion in 1999, plummeting to $7.7 billion in 2009, primarily because of the predominance of peer-to-peer filesharing networks. 

The music industry blames LimeWire for the loss of over $1 billion in sales, which prompted legislators to shut down the site in October 2010 after a court ruling.

LimeWire was originally founded in 2000 and became one of the last filesharing holdouts against music industry pressure.

After paying the likes of Universal, Warner, and Sony, Mark Gorton, creator of LimeWire, stated that he was "pleased this case has concluded."

However, Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman said he was frustrated that LimeWire did not shut down or just convert to a "legal service," after filesharing company Grokster agreed to pay $50 million in a 2005 Supreme Court landmark ruling. Of course, LimewWire was subsequently shuttered by a court order in October 2010.

"It's devastating, frankly," he added.

Meanwhile, Mitch Bainwol, the chief executive of RIAA stated: "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.

"As the court heard during the last two weeks, LimeWire wreaked enormous damage on the music community, helping contribute to thousands of lost jobs and fewer opportunities for aspiring artists."

(Via The Guardian)