Record Companies Violated Copyright and Are Sued For Same Amount Per Song as Internet Song Pirates

Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada are being sued for up to $60 billion for violating music copyright on over 300,000 songs

The four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as “exploit now, pay later if at all.” It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings.

The class action seeks the option of statutory damages for each infringement. At $20,000 per infringement, potential liability exceeds $60 billion.

These numbers may sound outrageous, yet they are based on the same rules that led the recording industry to claim a single file sharer is liable for millions in damages.