The music industry wants LimeWire to pay up to $75 trillion in damages after losing a copyright infringement claim. That's right . . . $75 trillion. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood has labeled this request "absurd."
You're telling me. To put that number into perspective (I bet a lot of you didn't even know "trillion" was a real number), the U.S. GDP is around 14 trillion -- less than one fifth of what the music industry is requesting. Heck, the GDP of the entire world is between 59 and 62 trillion. That's right, the music industry wants LimeWire to pay more money than exists in the entire world.
Popular file-sharing service LimeWire was shut down last October, after Judge Wood found them liable for copyright infringement in May 2010.
According to Law.com, the RIAA and the 13 record companies that are suing LimeWire for copyright infringement have demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, and have claimed that Section 504©(1) of the Copyright Act allow them to request damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable. In other words, the RIAA thinks it should be entitled to damages not only for the individual works, but for every time that work was infringed (i.e. downloaded by another user).
At the moment, about 11,000 songs have been identified as "infringed" material, and each song probably has probably been downloaded thousands of times. The RIAA thinks it should be compensated for each individual download.