Citing Section 504(c) of the Copyright Act, a team of thirteen record companies claim that Lime Wire’s file-sharing program made the company liable for the numerous alleged copyright infringements committed by users. The maximum award per infringement is $150,000, which the record companies seek to multiply by the 10,000 estimated infringements.
But U.S. Federal District Court Judge Kimba Wood noted LimeWire’s massive number of users, which the company said number more than 50 million per month, make the record companies’ interpretation untenable.
“If Plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, Defendants’ damages could reach into the trillions,” wrote Wood, calling the requests “absurd.”
Instead, Wood argued that record companies should receive one damage award per work, rather than one award per infringing party.
LimeWire’s defense attorney Joseph Bao applauded the Wood’s conclusion, which comes months after LimeWire was forced to shutter the service. Prior to the close, LimeWire attached hundreds of thousands of new downloads each day, the company said.