LimeWire shuts down P2P service, looks to future

By Mike Fischer on
After being found liable for copyright infringement last May, LimeWire has finally been ordered to take down the key features of its service. Citing the program as committing and facilitating copyright infringement, the popular file-sharing client will be required to "disable the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality" of its software. For the RIAA this injunction ends a legal battle dating back to 2006, and closes the book on one of the most accessible and heavily used P2P programs of the last decade.

Looking to the future, LimeWire hopes to follow other reformed P2P sites like Napster into the realm of legitimate music sales. But the road ahead will be a bumpy one - a January damages trial is planned to set a monetary value to the "billions" of infringements the RIAA seeks compensation for. Judge Kimba Wood stated the plaintiffs have suffered "irreparable harm from LimeWire's inducement of widespread infringement of their works," although she acknowledged any damages awarded would be "well beyond" LimeWire's ability to pay. But as P2P file-sharers simply migrate to new platforms when needed, this ruling boils down to the destruction of LimeWire as a company, and not the real root causes of Internet piracy.

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