P2P (peer-to-peer) filesharing site LimeWire has finally been shut down, due to an injunction from a U.S. district court in New York, ending a long battle between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Lime Group, who owns and operates LimeWire. LimeWire is now illegal.
"This is an official notice that LimeWire is under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software. Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal," reads the announcement on the front page of the LimeWire web site.
The LimeWire shut down comes as a result of the court case that ended in May of this year, in which U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ruled that LimeWire and Mark Gorton had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition and induced users to commit copyright infringement with the software. This doesn't even include the still-pending lawsuit from the National Music Publishers Association.
The lawsuit was filed by 13 record labels: Warner Bros, Arista, Capitol Records and more claimed that LimeWire users were able to exchange copies of more than 3,000 of their copyrighted recordings.
LimeWire enabled its users to search for music and other content via the Bittorrent and Gnutella networks. By some counts, LimeWire had as many as 50 million users. This represents another blow for so-called "freeloaders," as users who seek out free downloads on the Internet are sometimes called. The shut down of both Pirate Bay and OiNK essentially offered the same blow.
"We are out of the file-sharing business, but you can make it known that other aspects of our business remain ongoing," Lime Group spokesperson Tiffany Guaraccia said when speaking to Associated Press (AP).