RIAA Claims LimeWire Owes $72 Trillion [UPDATED]

UPDATE: The viral nature of how information spreads on the Internet strikes again. The RIAA reached out to Tom's Guide to inform us that the events described below were from over a year ago but were re-promoted in the news today due to a report from NME. The news then spread to mainstream sources, among dozens others.

After winning the lawsuit that all but forced LimeWire to shut down, the RIAA is still out for LimeWire’s blood.

The RIAA has finally put a figure on what it feels it is owed -- $72 trillion dollars. Just so we’re clear, the ‘t’ is no typo.

Considering that the world’s combined wealth only totals $60 trillion, I’ve no idea how the RIAA expects to be compensated, short of condemning all of LimeWire to eternal servitude.

Where’s the RIAA getting these ‘Dr. Evil-esque’ numbers? Well, the RIAA claims that over 11,000 have had their copyright infringed upon after being downloaded countless number of times and that the RIAA should be compensated for every single download.

Judge Woods, the presiding judge, ruled that such a figure was preposterous, stating that there could only be “single statutory damage award from Defendants per work infringed”, otherwise calculations over damages could end up with “absurd results”… such as $72 trillion.

However, just because the judge disagrees with the RIAA’s insane math doesn’t mean that LimeWire is out of hot water yet. LimeWire may be forced to shell out $150,000 per infraction, meaning that it could still end up owing the RIAA $1.65 billion dollars.

Catherine Cai is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, VG 24/7, RipTen, and The Game Fanatics. She has also worked as a lead producer for video game projects, a manager and lighting director for the stage, and a software engineer. Currently, she works as a Production Engineering Manager for Shopify.