LimeWire has been shut down after the New York company lost a four year long lawsuit with the Recording Industry Association of America, having been found guilty of massive copyright infringement. Make sure you check out this story on the effects of the Limewire shutdown.
Users of the LimeWire client software on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, as well as of the peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing network facilitated by LimeWire, visiting the company’s website are greeted by a message explaining why they are no longer able to share content through the LimeWire service and clients.
“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 said message.
But LimeWire not only took the necessary measures to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software, but also to shutter key elements of the P2P network.
Features such as searching, downloading, uploading, file sharing and all distribution capabilities associated with the service have been disabled.
A LimeWire spokesperson noted that the company is still willing to work with the music industry in order to keep its file-sharing network alive.
"While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward. We look forward to embracing necessary changes and working with the entire music industry in the future."
At the top of its game, over 3 billion songs were being downloaded every month by the members of LimeWire’s P2P network, which amounted to in excess of $1 billion in damages, RIA argued.
A new trial, designed solely to determine the amount of damages created by LimeWire to the music industry is expected to debut in January 2011.
LimeWire had previously boasted that it had more than 50 million unique users each month, and in June 2005 it was the self-titled “industry standard” for peer to peer file sharing.
It has been shown in court that as much as 98.8% of all of LimeWire’s traffic involved unauthorized sharing of copyrighted materials.
“Naturally, we’re disappointed with this turn of events. We are extremely proud of our pioneering history and have, for years, worked hard to bridge the gap between technology and content rights holders,” LimeWire said.
“However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software.
“It’s a sad occasion for our team, and for you – the hundreds of millions of people who have used LimeWire to discover new things.”
UPDATE: LimeWire Alternative, Zune Pass and Not Apple iTunes.