find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Claimants seek enough damages to end global poverty

Claimants seek enough damages to end global poverty

Folklaw has seen some fairly interesting claims for damages in its time, but this one is simply awesome.The Am Law Daily has reported that thirteen record companies are taking file-sharing…

Folklaw has seen some fairly interesting claims for damages in its time, but this one is simply awesome.

The Am Law Daily has reported that thirteen record companies are taking file-sharing company Lime Wire to the cleaners for copyright infringement.

Not unusual, we hear you say, until we add that they are seeking damages to the tune of $75 trillion (which also happens to be more than five times the US national debt)!

But unfortunately for them, Manhattan federal district court judge Kimba Wood didn't share their enthusiasm for endless riches, labelling the damages request "absurd" and contrary to copyright laws.

The record companies, which had demanded damages in the range of a measly $400 billion to a comfortable $75 trillion, had argued that section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act provided for damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable.

For a site like Lime Wire, which had thousands of users and millions of downloads, Judge Wood found that the award of damages would, under this interpretation, be staggering.

"If plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, defendants' damages could reach into the trillions," she wrote in her 14-page opinion. "As the defendants note, plaintiffs are suggesting an award that is 'more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877'."

Wood did concede, however, that the question of statutory interpretation was "an especially close question", but came to the conclusion that damages should be restricted to one damage award per work.

"We were pleased that the judge followed both the law and the logic in reaching the conclusion that she did," said Lime Wire's lawyer.

"As the judge said in her opinion, when the copyright law was initiated, legislatures couldn't possibly conceive of what the world would become with the internet. As such, you couldn't use legislative history. Instead, the overarching issue is reasonableness in order to avoid absurd and possibly unconstitutional outcome."

The lawyers also said, not unreasonably, that the money sought by the record companies could be better spent on paying for health care or wiping out the national debt (or, you know, ending global poverty).

Folklaw has a sneaking suspicion that Dr Evil might just be behind this.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Claimants seek enough damages to end global poverty
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...