LimeWire Ordered to Shutdown P2P Program

LimeWire Ordered to Shutdown P2P Program

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood orders LimeWire to disable the “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of the famed file-sharing program. Injunction follows its court loss to the RIAA for copyright infringement this past May.

It’s been a long time coming, but LimeWire as we know it is no more. For yesterday U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood issued an injunction ordering the company to disable the “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of the famed file-sharing program.

The injunction follows LimeWire’s loss to the RIAA this past May where Judge Wood determined the company had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced others to commit copyright infringement,

“Naturally, we’re disappointed with this turn of events,” says LimeWire’s CEO, George Searle, in a press release. “We are extremely proud of our pioneering history and have, for years, worked hard to bridge the gap between technology and content rights holders. However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software.”

The suit against the Gnutella-based client began in earnest back in 2006 on the heels of the landmark MGM v Grokster case, and is a testament to how slowly the justice system works while the Internet evolves in leaps in bounds.

LimeWire has since been eclipsed by faster, and arguably much safer, alternatives like BitTorrent, making the ruling and subsequent injunction hallow victories for the RIAA. What lesson it should teach for all is not to try and profit from illegal P2P.

The company still faces an ongoing battle with the National Music Publishers’ Association which is demanding “equitable relief” of its own for the damages it claims its members suffered over the years.

Despite it all LimeWire still says it plans to to return as a subscription-based “ecosystem” that will give subscribers “complete and instant access to their entire [music] library and catalog across their desktop, devices, and in the cloud.”

“We remain deeply committed to working with the music industry and making the act of loving music more fulfilling for everyone — including artists, songwriters, publishers, labels, and of course music fans,” it adds.

“Our team of technologists and music enthusiasts is creating a completely new music service that puts you back at the center of your digital music experience.”

That may be, but considering it still faces paying millions of dollars, perhaps even a billion by some estimations, in damages the the RIAA, no to mention the NMPA, it’s hard to imagine it’ll have any significant amount of money left over to license and develop a music “ecosystem.”

“For the better part of the last decade, LimeWire and Gorton have violated the law,” says the RIAA in a statement. “The court has now signed an injunction that will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that LimeWire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely.”

Too bad for the RIAA there’s still dozens of alternatives out there, many of them open source.

Stay tuned.

[email protected]