Battered and beaten up in court, peer-to-peer file sharing service LimeWire has agreed to pay $105 million in damages to major record labels, the Recording Industry Association of America announced. The settlement ends a jury trial that began last week to determine the amount of damages LimeWire would owe, which could have ended up being 10 times the amount of the settlement, or more.
"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," RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol said in a statement. "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.
"The significant settlement underscores the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in the Grokster case -- designing and operating services to profit from the theft of the world’s greatest music comes with a stiff price. 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."
LimeWire's legal battle has been a long and uphill one. In May 2010, LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton were found guilty of copyright infringement, and in October, LimeWire received a federal injunction that effectively shut down the file sharing service.