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Adios Limewire

For the past few years, I’ve been a staunch advocate for consumer rights when it comes to music. Last week, we lost a major battle in the peer-to-peer service Limewire being shut down on the orders of New York Judge Kimba Wood, who also presided over the ‘Russian Spy Case’ a few months ago. Whether you know it or not, this is the end of an era, where illegal downloading died on a mass scale. I personally see this as a bad thing, as greed wins over consumer rights, but you decide for yourself. Here’s the story from CNN:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — A New York judge ordered LimeWire to stop distributing its file-sharing software, agreeing with the plaintiffs that LimeWire’s service is used “overwhelmingly for infringement.”

Judge Wood of U.S. District Court in Manhattan said that LimeWire “intentionally encouraged direct infringement” by users of its site, and also “marketed itself to Napster users, who were known copyright infringers.

The LimeWire site shut down its service Wednesday, displaying only a legal notice announcing that that company “is under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software.”

Nonetheless, the company insisted that it has not been permanently put out of business.

“While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward,” LimeWire said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future.”

LimeWire CEO George Searle went further in a message posted on LimeWire’s corporate site.

“The injunction applies only to the LimeWire product. Our company remains open for business,” he wrote. “Our team of technologists and music enthusiasts is creating a completely new music service that puts you back at the center of your digital music experience. We’ll be sharing more details about our new service and look forward to bringing it to you in the future.”

LimeWire has been skirmishing for years with the music industry over its laissez faire approach to policing the copyright violations its peer-to-peer software enabled. More than a dozen plaintiffs pursued the case against LimeWire, which began four years ago. Sony (SNE) Music Entertainment, Virgin Records America, Inc., Arista Records, Capitol Records and Warner Brothers Records Inc. (Warner Brothers Records and CNNMoney.com are both part of Time Warner (TWX, Fortune 500).)

While the court order has halted further distribution of LimeWire’s software, the networks that software tapped into — Gnutella and BitTorrent — remain active, and can be reached through other software applications.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/27/technology/limewire_court/

Source: CNN

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