LimeWire Wants Data From Amazon, Apple to Determine RIAA Payout

LimeWire Wants Data From Amazon, Apple to Determine RIAA Payout

Asks to subpoena internal documents from third-party licensees which it claims could show the “true value of their works,” and therefore how much it should actually be forced to pay in damages and not merely what the RIAA claims.

Faced with the prospect of a Jury trial to determine damages owed to the RIAA in the now years-long file-sharing trial, LimeWire is trying to find out how much third-party licensees actually pay the music industry and not what it claims on paper.

Back in May US District Judge Kimba Wood ruled that LimeWire had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced others to commit copyright infringement, thus paving the way for potentially huge financial penalties.

The RIAA claims it “will be entitled to substantial damages, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions, because of the massive infringing conduct” for which LimeWire was found guilty of.

However, LimeWire is trying to get the music industry to prove what its actual losses are.

According to the Hollywood Reporter it’s even begun asking third-party licensees to hand over internal documents that show in writing what they actually pay the RIAA. has been the first target, and Apple and other online music retailers are expected to follow.

“The Subpoena requests documents that could not be within Plaintiffs’ possession, e.g. purely internal Amazon communications regarding its licensing agreements with Plaintiffs placed on their copyrighted works,” write the attorneys representing LimeWire in motion filed in NY District Court.

They say the documents “could illuminate Plaintiffs’ views as to the true value of their works and how Plaintiffs acted towards Amazon and other online digital music providers.”

It’s unfortunate that LimeWire has to get third parties to prove the accuracy of the RIAA’s estimates of damages owed, but considering it puts the amount in the “hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions” I think I’d demand a full accounting as well.

The real problem is that nobody knows for sure what the actual damages are in the case. Some studies, in fact, have shown that “P2P file-sharing tends to increase rather than decrease music purchasing.”

“For every 12 P2P downloaded songs, music purchases increase by 0.44 CDs,” reports the Canadian gov’t-funded study. “That is, downloading the equivalent of approximately one CD increases purchasing by about half of a CD.”

If that’s the case then arguably it’s the RIAA who owes LimeWire money and not the other way around.

LimeWire still faces a suit by the National Music Publishers’ Association which wants “equitable relief” of its own for the damages it claims its members suffered over the years. It also wants a share of any settlement money that LimeWire makes available.

Yet, despite all the best efforts of both the RIAA and the NMPA LimeWire persists in the form of LimeWire Pirate Edition.

Stay tuned.

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