It seems that the many labels involved in squeezing blood out of limes, even limes that are now dead enough to only be compost, sought to be paid statutory damages for each and every download from the now dead LimeWire.

However, Judge Kimba Wood ruled that the labels were entitled to one statutory damage claim per song and not per download. The article over at Reuters Canada states that the current award would still add up to a figure between “$7.5 million and $1.5 billion.” While 1.5 million is nothing compared to a trillion, how much juice is in that lime?

Judge Wood wisely explained that, had the recording industry request been granted, it would be an “absurd result” while referencing Thomas Edison:

“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.”

While I am happy that Judge Wood ruled that one award per download would be excessive, I honestly fail to see how the amount awarded is not also excessive. Are we to believe that the music labels actually lost the amount awarded due to the existence of LimeWire and piracy? Or, is the current situation better described as an entrenched industry that lobbied a method to slow its extinction?