In the consolidated cases Venegas v Peermusic and Venegas v ACEMLA-LAMCO the judge (José A. Fusté) awarded the following damages to be paid to the Venegas heirs:
By Peermusic: $5,000.
By LAMCO parties: $16,000.
All for the infringement of the same song: Génesis. These awards were given even though Peermusic illegally made about $39,000 and LAMCO about $125,000 (the real loss was well over US$1,000,000 to plaintiffs) at current value at time of damage award issuance. So the judge turned $111,000 of illegal profits from copyright infringements into minimalists damage awards totaling $21,000, so as to favor the infringing parties, responsible for the biggest music theft in history, while making over 200 errors in the process.
Note: In fact, these companies, ACEMLA and Peermusic did not comit actual copyright infringement as defined by the law. The actual copyright infringement, which is copying and performing publicly without authorization was performed by someone else. What Peermusic and ACEMLA did was to illegally represent themselves as owners of the infringed song (thus destroying the market value of Guillermo Venegas' music) a charge made in the lawsuit (see item 18 here) and wich was overlooked and not discussed at all by judge Fusté, incredibly.
The $21,000 damage award is nothing more than $4 per song per year of one of the greatest song collections from a single composer anywhere. Listen to some of the music here.
The question here is how much did it cost to obtain these damage awards?
These are the costs incurred by the Venegas heirs:
1. Legal expenses: Well over $150,000. The judge only awarded $23,000 to the Venegas heirs, to be paid by Peermusic. LAMCO parties did not have to pay a single cent, and they stole every Venegas songs from the Venegas heirs and infringed many of the songs and illegally collected royalties for millions of records sold. The Venegas heirs did make a legal fee claim of $76,932 against LAMCO parties, but the judge (Jose A. Fuste) refused to order the payment on the grounds that the claim was made too late.
2. Personal time expenses: Estimated to be well over $100,000.
Total cost is estimated to be over $250,000.
A second question is, is there an explanation for this? Yes there is an explanation, but such explanation cannot be given at present. Please stay tuned.
It was much more:
LAMCO alleged in court that it received about $125,000 in (illegal) royalties. However, one of the record for which royalties were received by LAMCO sold over 5 million copies in the 1990s (by Sonolux). Royalties for five million records with interests, at present worth is about US$1,000,000. Such money, or any money, was never paid to plaintiffs as a result of LAMCO's appropriation of all the music of Guillermo Venegas.
In the present case, the music publishers sued actually stole the songs, over 500 and prevented the Venegas siblings from exploiting them for over 8 years. Yes, the songs were only exploited by the thieves in the period of 1996 to 2006, as many songs are still copyright registered in the name of the thieves. So the $21,000 damage award is nothing more than $4 per song per year.