That's the cartoonishly high end of a sum 13 record labels are requesting in damages from the file-sharing site LimeWire, on the grounds that the website facilitated millions of acts of copyright infringement. The low end? $400 billion.
LimeWire was shuttered last May after those same record companies succeeded in their initial suit against the file-sharer. Now the question of how much the companies are owed still lingers. Judge Kimba Wood of a Manhattan district court recently called the trillion dollar claim absurd.
"As defendants note, 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,'" she wrote.
Kimba has argued that instead of looking at each instance of infringement, damages should be awarded based on the number of works infringed against. The final ruling should be reached this May. Until then, the record labels will just have to make money the old-fashioned way.