Earlier today, LimeWire and the major labels announced they've reached a settlement in the damages portion of their lawsuit, ending the biggest P2P trial since Grokster. The settlement was reportedly for $105 million -- a big chunk of change, but a small fraction of the billions (revised downward from trillions) sought by the RIAA.
I haven't commented publicly on this case for the past six months, because I was retained by LimeWire as the primary expert witness for the defense. In fact, I was scheduled to take the stand today, and only found out yesterday afternoon that the settlement talks were likely to bear fruit.
I was actually really looking forward to testifying, both because I felt that the RIAA's argument was largely bogus, and I hoped to have a chance to contradict their claims on the record, and because I find the larger subject of the music industry's transformation such a fascinating subject.
Fortunately, most of the testimony I would have given on the stand is part of the court record in written form. To be specific, I prepared a 20,000-word (65 page) report detailing the many reasons for the downturn in music sales, the many sources of free music available to consumers, and some of the many mistakes the labels themselves have made, contributing to their financial woes. I also weighed in on the scale of damages sought, arguing that a large damage award would likely have little or no effect on the amount of free music available online.
I'll probably turn this all into a book one of these days, but in the meantime, you can download and read the report in its original form here. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.