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UPDATED: LIMEWIRE REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH LABELS FOR $105M, ARTISTS TO RECEIVE…


Digital Music News:

The RIAA wanted blood in this fight, though the jury proceedings introduced some variables. According to one source, that included the possibility of a sub-$10 million reward, potentially due to the RIAA‘s bullying image. On the flip side, damages could also have reached the redialed maximum of $1.4 billion, and either side risked one of those extremes. The result is the $105 million amount, hardly petty cash but far from the devastating level of monetary punishment the RIAA was seeking.

Regardless, RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol expressed happiness with the “large monetary settlement” after five years of litigation. “We are pleased to have reached a large monetary settlement following the court’s finding that both Limewire and its founder Mark Gorton are personally liable for copyright infringement,” Bainwol said. “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”…

Cnet on the settlement. For a timeline of Cnet’s (aka Greg Sandoval’s) coverage of the LimeWire case, you can go to here.

That’s a lot of money for sure, but at this point only Gorton knows whether the amount represents a heavy burden. During his damages hearing last week, RIAA lawyers suggested his net worth was larger than that.

They noted he possessed $100 million in an IRA account. His Manhattan home is worth more than $4 million. In addition to Lime Wire, Gorton operates a hedge fund and a medical-software company. Gorton’s lawyers claimed in court that he made little money from Lime Wire. Maybe, but records show the privately owned company generated $26 million in revenue in 2006 and sales climbed dramatically after that. During most of Lime Wire’s 10-year history, Gorton was chairman, CEO, and only board member.

Where the settlement money will go is hard to tell. In similar cases in the past, the RIAA has split up big awards with the four member labels. How much of the money goes back to the artists is unclear…

Billboard:

As had been rumored, multiple record labels on Thursday settled their copyright lawsuit against Lime Wire LLC and its founder, Mark Gorton, for $105 million during the second week of a trial in New York, according to Bloomberg.

“The case has just settled,” U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood told jurors, according to the report…

New York Times:

Ending a five-year court battle over music piracy, the major record companies on Thursday settled a copyright infringement lawsuit with LimeWire, a popular file-sharing network, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.

Details of the settlement were not immediately available…

Wall Street Journal:

The major record labels and their trade group on Thursday reached a financial settlement in a copyright infringement lawsuit against LimeWire LLC, a now-defunct file sharing service, according to three people with knowledge the situation.

The settlement, whose terms couldn’t be immediately learned…