The major record companies announced Thursday that they have reached an out-of-court $105 million settlement with the peer-to-peer service LimeWire and its CEO Mark Gorton.
The settlement with 13 record companies including labels owned by Sony Vivendi SA, Warner Music Group and EMI Group.
The settlement follows a decision by federal district court Judge Kimba Wood to shut down LimeWire
last October after she found both the service and Mr. Gorton liable for inducing massive copyright infringement. The judge had also left open the question of damages that could have exceeded $1 billion on roughly 10,000 recordings released since 1972. A jury trial in New York City on the amount of damages to be paid by Mr. Gorton had begun last week. The record companies? case was argued by the law firm Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP.
"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. 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, " commented RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol.
"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."