The long-running Lime Wire saga is over. It ended not with a resounding jury decision as to the amount of damages suffered by the “record labels,” but an anti-climactic, last-minute settlement, albeit one in the amount of $105 million.
Although the jury sitting in the damages trial never had the opportunity to return a verdict, the trial did offer some interesting, not to say dramatic, moments.
In his first time on the witness stand, Lime Wire’s erstwhile president, Mark Gorton, repeatedly sought to excuse his infringement by volunteering responses to questions that had not been asked. For this, he was repeatedly admonished by the Court. He also sought to diminish his culpability by contending that, if Lime Wire had ceased operation, its users would have simply switched to one of its many competitors – no harm, no foul. The Court directed the jury to ignore this contention.
There was also some heated debate as to the amount of profits Mr. Gorton reaped from Lime Wire. The “labels” asserted that he made $100 million. Mr. Gorton countered that he had “only made $31 million,” in an apparent effort to gain jury sympathy. Unfortunately, we shall never know whether this transparent ploy would have been successful.
Finally, as a public service, we would remind everyone that, as emphasized by the injunction issued in this case, “the unauthorized uploading and downloading of copyrighted works is illegal.” Pay heed; failure to do so cost Gorton $105 million.