LimeWire Also Ends Legal Music Downloads

LimeWire Also Ends Legal Music Downloads

Tells vendors that it will “cease LimeWire Store operations on December 31, 2010,” and visitors to the site that it is “no longer accepting new customers.” News comes of the heels of U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood’s injunction on behalf of the RIAA 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.”

It appears LimeWire Inc. is continuing its slow demise with news that it plans to shutter its legal music download store as well.

This past October U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood issued an injunction ordering LimeWire to disable the “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality” of the famed file-sharing program.

The injunction was result of its earlier court loss to the RIAA which found that Limewire and its creator, Mark Gorton, had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced others to commit copyright infringement.

Now, in a message on the LimeWire Store, site visitors are told that it is “no longer accepting news customers.”

“Existing subscribers will not be renewed or charged but can still sign in to redeem any remaining song credits.”

In addition, it has told vendors that it plans to close the LimeWire store by the end of the year.

“It’s with great disappointment that we must cease LimeWire Store operations on December 31, 2010,” it says in a letter.

It’s unclear how profitable the LimeWire store is, but the closure is likely in preparation for what is sure to be the sizable amount of damages that Judge Wood will award the RIAA early next year.

It also still faces a suit by the National Music Publishers’ Association which wants “equitable relief” of its own for the damages it claims its members suffered over the years.

LimeWire Inc. has repeatedly insisted that it plans to morph into a subscription-Based “ecosystem” where subscribers will have “complete and instant access to their entire library and catalog across their desktop, devices, and in the cloud,” but it now seems it’s had a change of heart.

Perhaps it finally realized that the LimeWire Store was no match for the dozens of alternatives that already exist.

Stay tuned.

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