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File Sharers Beware: LimeWire Shut Down By Court Order

Submitted by on October 28, 2010 – 11:55 am37 Comments
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Not that we all didn’t see this coming from a mile away, but a court order has finally lay waste to the file-sharing software known as LimeWire. Long used by millions worldwide to download and share music and videos, the software violates copyright laws and did little or nothing to stop the distribution of copyright-protected files.

LimeWire was used extensively over the past few years to make virtually any song or film available, with many albums and movies available before their release date. After seeing what happened to Napster (a $26 million settlement paid to record companies), you’d think the guys behind LimeWire would get the picture.

Today, should you attempt to use the software, here’s what you’ll see.

Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said LimeWire’s proprietors “intentionally encouraged direct infringement” and ruled they should no longer allow or support “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of its software.

This comes as quite a victory to those who actually own rights to the widely distributed copyrighted material. Film studios and record labels were left virtually powerless in this fight for quite some time, thus resorting to fruitless lawsuits against individual users of file-sharing, which didn’t seem to have much success as a deterrent. Ad campaigns were launched, preaching how stealing is wrong, even when it comes to movies. If these ads served any purpose, it was inspiring great parodies such as this one.

In the long battle for intellectual property rights, there seems to be one more win for the anti-piracy movement. For LimeWire, however, the losses are just beginning. In January of next year, its owners will stand trial to determine just how much in damages they owe to the record companies. Look for another substantive pay out in hopes of deterring other programmers from developing such a tool.

I have to wonder if this latest legal action will actually change anything. Much like the responses people gave to this post, it seems people will find a way to get the music they want for free, regardless. This court order only ensures LimeWire isn’t no longer one of those sources.

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