LimeWire Pays $105 Million for Copyright Infringement

By: Mel Joelle

It’s been a long battle that has now come to a bitter end. It is being reported today, that LimeWire has agreed to pay record labels an astonishing $105 Million for the illegal sharing of files which violated copyright law.

This saddens me—and many others, I’m sure. For so long, LimeWire served as my music life-line. Not to be dramatic or anything, but LimeWire may have single-handedly opened my world up to sights unseen. Before LimeWire my musical repertoire was limited…to say the very least. I only knew what played on the radio, thousands of times, and I may have found something new, every now and then, from the music video channels. That’s about as vast as my musical knowledge went; then came LimeWire. This company exposed me to more than I knew existed. It expanded me all its own and for this, I am forever indebted. There were countless hours spent downloading utter randomness that I later grew to love and cherish. Mozella (ever heard of her?), is one of my favorite artist to date and had it not been for LimeWire I may have never had the pleasure.

Yes, I get it, they broke the law and ultimately cost record labels and artists millions of dollars (probably somewhere upward $150 million) but aren’t we neglecting to see the good here? LimeWire changed the way we exchange information today. This platform was brilliant. But no, they do not acknowledge the brilliance; all they can see is theft! Talk about shortsighted.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman, Mitch Bainwol, says that they are pleased with the settlement. Uhh…ya think?! He goes on to say that “The resolution of this case is another milestone in the continuing evolution of online music to a legitimate marketplace that appropriately rewards creators.” Yea, yea, I guess.

I’m sure that Mark Gorton, LimeWire founder, is just glad this whole thing is over. This has been a battle that has been ongoing since August 2006. Though the outcome isn’t the best, one can imagine that it could have ended up so much worse. In response to the whole debacle, Gorton responds “I was wrong. I didn’t think our behavior was inducing [copyright infringement]. I understand that a court has found otherwise.”

He was only trying to help. I truly doubt that Gorton’s intention, when allowing for the sharing of music, was to undermine the higher-ups. This was all about catering to the underdog, for once, and we greatly appreciated it.

Now that LimeWire is gone and the debt is to be paid I’m wondering what’s next. I’d be lying to say that I’m not actively looking for my next music downloading fix, at all times. If you know of any other free music-lover sites that will capture my heart like LimeWire once did, don’t hold on out me. Please, share.

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