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LimeWire Settles with Record Labels for $105 Million

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that the major record companies have reached an out-of-court $105 million settlement with LimeWire.

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Unedited press release follows:

LimeWire and Major Record Labels Reach Settlement

May 12, 2011 — NEW YORK/WASHINGTON — The major record companies announced Thursday that they have reached an out-of-court $105 million settlement with the notorious peer-to-peer service LimeWire and its CEO Mark Gorton.

The settlement follows a decision by federal district court Judge Kimba Wood last year to shut down LimeWire after she found both the service and Mr. Gorton liable for inducing massive copyright infringement. 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. Below is a comment from RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol:

“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.

“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.”

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi- Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.