Limewire Shuts Down After Court Order

Posted October 30, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in News

The party is over for Limewire users, but will the court-ordered injunction stop illegal downloads for good? Analysts and frequent P2P participants think not.

In case peer-to-peer partyers didn’t get the memo, Limewire has been shut down indefinitely.

The popular file-sharing service which has been in a legal battle with the major labels including Arista, BMG, Sony, and Warner Bros. was ordered by a federal judge to shut down on Tuesday, and was expected to have all versions of the software down as of Wednesday.

As mandated by the judge, Limewire LLC must shut down, “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality,” and would be required to implement a copyright filter in order to return to the web.

Josh Halliday, of the UK’s Guardian, stated that after the conjuncture against Limewire  was announced, the UK paper suggested that the shutdown would be just a “temporary inconvenience for file-sharers. “The tens of millions of users would simply find somewhere else where music is free at the point of access. One astute commenter called it a “pyrrhic” victory for the industry.”

UK’s Telegraph reported that while Limewire has been shut down, people are still not going to buy the music.  “The music industry has stated that downloading is destroying the industry and that every illegal download is a lost sale,” Natasha Green, 16, reports. “This is a weak argument – the majority of people who illegally download would not pay for music in the first place.”

Green continues in her argument:

“I’ve always thought that my generation – I’m 16 – will never need to purchase music again. Unless we are seriously lacking ideas for a gift, the prospect of buying a CD seems ludicrous. With the development and increasing awareness of illegal, yet accessible, programmes like LimeWire, paying for music is tantamount to paying for water.”

The official website for the RIAA was also down due to high volumes of traffic frequenting the website after the court victory. But the site was able to post an announcement amde by an RIAA spokesman stating that in January (2011), the court will conduct a trial to determine the levels of damage necessary to establish loss of monies and streams of compensation from the billions of downloads accessed by the Limewire service. Not certain if Limewire will be able to pay back those damages; estimated to be in the billions.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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