At ZeroPaid, we pride ourselves on trying to post the most accurate stories possible. That is why whenever we learn of a news story, we cross-reference with numerous other reliable sources to ensure that what we report is the most accurate story possible. The question, in this case, boiled down to “What if every reliable source that looked at a specific story was wrong?”
The original story was that while LimeWire was known to have been sued, the amount was never made public until now. I personally first heard about this on CBC which is also normally a good reliable source when it comes to the main points about litigation. In particular, it was from the business program “The Lange and O’Leary Exchange” We cross referenced the story with a number of other sources which all said the same thing about the dollar figure – some of that cross referencing is what you saw in the original article. The story since our publication hit a number of other websites as well which reconfirmed this story.
It was only today we learned that the story may not have been accurate. Techdirt commented on the story and found that the story wasn’t necessarily accurate.
I just want to be clear that I am not a bad reporter. If it is discovered, as was the case for the first time ever here, that I have ever made a mistake, I will be fully transparent and correct the article. I will not just ignore the problem and hope it goes away and everyone forgets about it. I won’t just say a mistake was merely an update and say that it was never a mistake in the first place. I take full responsibility for what happened. Even if the safeguards I put in front of me clearly failed me in this case, the responsibility ultimately falls on my shoulders.
I apologize to everyone and will work hard to ensure that this never happens again. What follows is the original article (crossed out to point out that it may not have been entirely accurate).
It may be the biggest example of why people don’t trust alleged damages due to file-sharing in recent times. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is demanding $72 Trillion from the developers of Limewire. No, that is not a typo. The amount is $72 trillion.
One of the popular points being circulated about this is the value of the entire world economy. According to Wikipedia, the economy of the entire world is valued at $61.96 trillion (USD). I’ll say this right off the bat. At this stage, it’s much better to simply sue every one and every living thing on the planet at this point because they may have heard a song not authorized by the RIAA. I can only picture RIAA executives with their pinky fingers pointing to their evil grins when they asked for that sum of money.
The report comes from NME which says:
In October 2010, Limewire was forced to shut down after a judge in the Federal District Court ruled that its main filesharing functions be disabled, but the RIAA is still actively pursuing its owners for damages.
Given that the combined wealth of the entire planet is around $60 trillion (£38 trillion), the RIAA likely has no hope of securing this in damages, but believe this is what it is owed, reports Computerworld.com.
In the suit, the RIAA says that given that the courts have identified over 11,000 songs as “infringed” material, and, as each song has probably been downloaded thousands of times, it should be compensated for each individual download.
However, the presiding Judge in the case, Judge Wood, disagrees and has said that the music industry is entitled only to a “single statutory damage award from Defendants per work infringed” for several reasons, including one that suggests that any other decision could lead to “absurd results”.
I think its pretty safe to say that just about no one is buying the number the RIAA presented here. Even if you are for suing every individual file-sharer on the planet, I bet you are scratching your head at how the RIAA came up with the value of $72 trillion. It makes zero sense to sue someone for more then the value of the entire planet.
What’s more is that this is the equivalent to suing every car manufacturer because the vehicles they produced and sold were involved in fatal crashes. It’s not that the cars were defective in every instance, it’s just that they produced the cars that were involved in the first place. That is why suing the creators of the file-sharing software also makes absolutely no sense in my mind. The only real message this is sending out to any innovators is that innovation – especially if or when it involves multimedia of any kind – is not welcome in America. If you create the next greatest thing, you better hope you do not live in America because the legacy corporations will hunt you down and make sure you spend the rest of your life in poverty because you had the audacity to invent something that may have upended their traditional business models.
Either way, I think asking for $72 trillion in damages was completely stupid.