LimeWire owes RIAA $72 Trillion. So says the RIAA.

The RIAA, in keeping with its quest to be as far from reality as possible, has come the conclusion that the (former) P2P service LimeWire owes it $72 trillion.  Yes, that’s with a ‘T’.  Seventy-Two.  Trillion.  Dollars.  That’s almost five times the U.S. debt.  Or as NME put it, “[m]usic industry group says it’s owed more than the entire world’s GDP in damages.”

As you might imagine, the RIAA “likely has no hope” of actually recouping what it thinks it’s owed given that the Earth’s collective GDP is only $60 trillion.  But that didn’t stop the RIAA from reasoning itself into fantasy land:

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.

Note the use of “probably” and then realize that’s, ahem, probably the least ridiculous part of this story.

Oh, you think the RIAA’s demands are insane?  You’re not alone.  So did the case’s judge:

In a scathing ruling filed earlier this month, Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York flatly rejected the industry’s claims that LimeWire should pay up to $150,000 for each download of some 11,000 songs included in the RIAA lawsuit.

While the RIAA has gone to court over this issue – that is, damages owed due to illegal downloading – before, this is the first time that a court has “been asked to consider the issue of whether a copyright holder can claim multiple awards for one copyrighted work.”

But it’s not likely that the RIAA will get its multiple-damages-per-song award.  As Wood argued in her opinion, following such a system of statutory damages would result in “more money than the entire music industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877.”  This “absurdity,” as she put it, forces the court to reject this suit.

In other words: Are you fucking insane?!

Oh, RIAA.  Don’t ever stop being you.  I know you hate the word ‘free,’ but, you are the best source of free entertainment in the entire entertainment industry.

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