It might not be the $75 trillion that the record labels were asking for, but LimeWire has dropped a pretty chunk of change in an out-of-court settlement with the RIAA. Following last year’s ruling that LimeWire had induced copyright infringement and failed to take meaningful steps to mitigate it, LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton have agreed to pay record labels $105 million.
In a statement, the RIAA said that “the resolution of this case is another milestone in the continuing evolution of online music to a legitimate marketplace that appropriately rewards creators. This hard fought victory is reason for celebration by the entire music community, its fans and the legal services that play by the rules.”
However, as TorrentFreak points out, the official RIAA party line is that money recouped in copyright infringement lawsuits doesn’t go to the artists, but are rather used to reinvest into the RIAA’s “ongoing education and anti-piracy programs.” With $105 million on the line and the sort of rhetoric present in the RIAA’s statement, it would seem a little daft if artists didn’t see a cent of it — TorrentFreak, for its part, isn’t too optimistic that they will — but the RIAA is not legally obliged to do so.
As for that $105 million, yes, LimeWire actually will be able to pay up. RIAA lawyers said during the damages hearing last week that founder Mark Groton has an IRA account containing $100 million, operates a hedge fund and a medical billing company in addition to LimeWire, and lives in a Manhattan apartment worth $4 million.