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LimeWire's Mark Gorton Escapes with a Cool $105 Million RIAA Settlement
May 13, 2011
Thomas Mennecke
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After a long legal battle in which Mark Gorton was found guilty of copyright infringement, LimeWire has settled with the music industry for $105 Million US Dollars. This avoids the penalty phase of the trial. When you think about it, and consider the wealth of Mark Gorton and Lime Group (the parent company of LimeWire), that's not such a terrible price to pay. Kazaa had to pay (at least) $115 million, and they're still around and presumably staying afloat.

Back in 2007, the LimePeer investment group was valued at $117 million US dollars. But that was just before the global recession hit - so it could be worth considerably less. However by all accounts, the operation is still in business, so we can assume that it's still achieving some level of success.

The RIAA's press release was giddy, but of particular note was the perceived solidification of the MGM vs. Grokster case.

"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."

Ultimately, a long nightmare is over for Mark Gorton and LimeWire. It's a big victory for the RIAA, but we doubt that Mark Gorton will walk away penniless. $105 million US dollars is a lot of money, but it's likely that his other investments will help him avoid a financial catastrophe and possibly return to being wealthy. In any event, there's a lesson to be learned - unless you're sitting on a 9 digit stock brokerage, don't start a P2P company.

This leaves BitTorrent, Inc. as the only legally functioning file-sharing protocol in the United States.


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