By TIM ARANGO
Published: October 26, 2010
Limewire, the music file-sharing service, has been ordered to essentially shut down after a federal judge in New York issued an injunction over LimeWire’s illegal sharing of copyrighted music. Would-be file-sharers now see a legal notice displayed on top of the site’s homepage
At issue in the epic four-year battle between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and LimeWire is the latter’s search, download, upload, file trading and file distribution functionality, that allowed users to cheat the recording industry out of millions of dollars – all the while profiting from the illegal practice.
“The operators of LimeWire continue to tout how ‘proud’ they are of their service,” the RIAA wrote on its blog. “To be clear, for the better part of the last decade, LimeWire and its operators have violated the law, and in doing so, enriched themselves immensely.”
“In January, [the next phase in the court process] the court will conduct a trial to determine the appropriate level of damages necessary to compensate the record companies for the billions and billions of illegal downloads that occurred through the LimeWire system,” the recording association said in its statement.
Though users of all ages – particularly teens – will mourn the passing of the site that allowed them to steal content, the effect will hopefully be an increased understanding and respect for intellectual content and copyright. But the chances of that are slim as they will likely find alternative methods for sharing, unless parents (many of whom are also guilty of the practice) step up to their responsibilities as role models and ethical digital citizens.
The demise of LimeWire (at least in this incarnation) seals it’s place in the category of Napster and Grokster two other former Internet pirate companies.