Interesting article in TechCrunch about how AllOfMP3 told the RIAA to get lost when it filed its $1,650,000,000,000 (yes, you did read that figure right – its in the trillions) claim in New York against AllOfMP3, even though AllOfMP3 operates out of Russia. From a legal perspective one would typically launch into the complexities of jurisdiction, judicial comity, real and substantial connection, forum non conveniens, blah, blah, blah.
But since this is a personal blog, let’s focus on the fun part, shall we? Let’s focus on the CASH. Woohoo! Fun with numbers. OK, so, let’s see. Accordingly to the CIA World Factbook, the current population of the world is 6,525,170,264. So, if the the damages sought by the RIAA were evenly divided amongst every man, woman and child, each one of them could go out and buy, oh, about twenty CDs, give or take. Wow. That’s a lot of CDs.
Another way to look at it? Its bigger than the GDP of every country in the world except for roughly the top ten. Yes yes, figures are few years old. Fine. Call it 15. You get the point. In any event, around the ballpark GDP for all of Russia. Yes, including the little nesting doll thingies.
From a more personal perspective, the interest on that amount, calculated at the low, low US fed rate for the shockingly painful period of time of two minutes is quite just a bit more than the combined annual incomes of me, my wife, my mom, stepmom, dad, sister, and her husband make in a year.
The point? Just that its a lot of money. A LOT of money. Not exactly googol or a googolplex
(which, as you probably know, is how Google got its name:
The Internet search engine Google was named after this number. Larry Page, one of the founders, was fascinated with mathematics and ‘Googol’, even during high school. They ended up with ‘Google’ due to a spelling mistake on a cheque that investors wrote to the founders.
(from Wikipedia)) but still a lot of money.
Update:Ã‚Â Further news from the INQ – apparently they calcuated damages at US$150,000 per song. Though the INQ correctly observes that AllOfMP3 hasn’t made that much money, damages could also be measured not by what an infringer has made (or an “accounting of profits”) but also the harm that they’ve cost you – so if AllOfMP3 sold each song for a penny, while the RIAA members would have otherwise sold the same song for a buck, multiply that by 150,000 downloads and you have your damages, as that is what they’ve lost out.