It’s hard to put a price on the damages of online piracy. There’s a lot of reasons for this. Many pirates are not customers, period. They would never pay for the content they copy, and as such can not account for loss. The greatest pirates in the world are simply digital librarians, who pirate content for idealistic purposes.
And let us not forget that piracy has marketable benefits. Pirates generate buzz and demand for content, they are a kind of free advertising.
In fact, many people are arguing that piracy isn’t a serious issue at all, and point to the rapid growth of independent content creators as a strong indication that major content producers are failing because of other, non-piracy-related issues.
That being said, the RIAA wants LimeWire to pay them money they would have gotten a cut of if not for those piratey kids. The money they say they’re owed: greater than all the money. Everywhere. In all the countries put together.
The music industry wants LimeWire to pay up to $75 trillion in damages after losing a copyright infringement claim. That’s right… $75 trillion. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood has labeled this request “absurd.”
To put that number into perspective, the U.S. GDP is around 14 trillion–less than one fifth of what the music industry is requesting. Heck, the GDP of the entire world is between 59 and 62 trillion. That’s right, the music industry wants LimeWire to pay more money than exists in the entire world.
So think about that the next time you download some pirated content because the officially-supported website’s player uses some proprietary bullshit that skips entire sections and only works in one browser and doesn’t work at all on your Mac or other non-Microsoft computer because of the encrypted streaming that you had to download that God-awful app to watch it that starts up automatically every time you turn on your computer and no-shit ties up 12 percent of your memory just sitting there running in the background doing nothing.
Because if you do that, then you are seriously harming the music industry, to a tune where you could literally nuke Western Europe and still leave the global economy in better shape than before you committed that terrible atrocity.Related: Popular: