RIAA hunts for creator of LimeWire Pirate Edition

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The RIAA, a trade group for the major recording labels in the US, is unhappy with the launch of LimeWire Pirate Edition (LPE). LPE was created by an anonymous team that decided to resurrect the Gnutella-based file-sharing client after its creators had to shutdown the original LimeWire due to copyright law infringements. LPE is an improvement on the latest LimeWire 5.6 beta (released earlier this year, before LimeWire's demise): the Ask toolbar has been unbundled, dependencies on LimeWire LLC's servers have been removed, remote settings have been disabled, adware/spyware/advertising has been removed, and all the features of LimeWire Pro have been switched on for free.

"An anonymous developer calling himself or herself 'Meta Pirate' launched the website at http://metapirate.webs.com that provides users with several links to download the LimeWire Pirate Edition," the RIAA's attorneys said according to Ars Technica. "Press reports indicated that 'Meta Pirate' is either formerly or presently a Lime Wire employee. Plaintiffs requested expedited discovery to uncover the identity of 'Meta Pirate.'"

The RIAA has requested that LimeWire assist with the investigation and has issued a court order for MetaPirate's identity. LimeWire will likely comply, emphasize that it's not distributing any version of LimeWire, and point out that it has already issued a cease and desist letter to the hosting company of LPE.

"Speaking for myself, the motivation is to make RIAA lawyers cry into their breakfast cereal," MetaPirate told Ars Technica. "We cannot contest the court order while remaining anonymous," he said, "but our software remains available from The Pirate Bay and other sites." While MetaPirate's site has been taken down, he doesn't plan on giving up his identity as easily. "Good luck, I'm behind seven proxies."

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