LimeWire was shut down in October 2010, but litigation continues from music bodies around the world, including Merlin which represents independent labels.
The RIAA told a court that it identified over 11,000 American songs that were being illegally shared, and that it should be compensated for every individual download of the tracks.
However, its claim for $72 trillion is 20 percent higher than the combined wealth of the entire world, which is $60 trillion according to the NME.
Don't run to your bank yet. The judge in the case dismissed the figure, and said the music industry is only entitled to sue LimeWire per song, rather than for every individual download.
This could still be substantial sum of money. At the proposed figure of $150,000 per song, LimeWire could be forced to pay a $1.65 billion fine.
Since the peak of peer-to-peer piracy, new streaming services including Spotify have stepped forward to offer a legal and convenient way to access music online. However, new services such as Tomahawk could usher a new era of "smart piracy" which can access music from Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services for free within one app.