Published by LawTechie - November 5, 2012 - LawTechie

Intellectual has posted a list of “5 most frivolous tech lawsuits.” One of these in particular is worth checking out:

RIAA Vs. Limewire

Talk about some moolah! The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wasn’t kidding around when they asked Limewire what would amount to just about all the money in the world. RIAA justified their $72 trillion claim to damages by stating that they should be paid $150,000 for each time a certain song (out of 11,000) was downloaded. They argued that by adding up all the times songs were illegally downloaded and figuring $150,000 for each violation, the total would come out to about 4.5 times the U.S. debt. Surprise, surprise the judge didn’t go for it and called the claim “absurd.”

According to court papers, the judge found the RIAA’s claim so silly that she note that “the RIAA, obviously somehow enchanted, required more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877.”

This is of course a somewhat significant ruling in that it indirectly reaffirms the long-held doctrine that statutory damages are only available on a per infringed work basis, not on a per infringement basis (as seen from the numbers above, a significant mathematical difference).

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.


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