Limewire shuts down after long legal battle

27 Oct 2010

P2P file-sharing service Limewire has shut down, after a long legal battle against the music industry which found the service was liable for copyright infringement.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2006, which saw Limewire go up against numerous big record labels, including BMG Music, Sony Music and Warner Bros.

The court order, given by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, forced Limewire to stop distribution and support for this service.

According to a court injunction posted on Limewire’s site, Judge Kimba Wood found Limewire had “intentionally encouraged direct infringement” by Limewire users and that the company knew about the “substantial infringement being committed.”

“Plaintiffs have suffered – and will continue to suffer – irreparable damage from Limewire’s inducement of widespread infringement of their works,” reads the document.

The document added that the damage was irreparable, as it was “virtually certain that (the plaintiffs) will be entitled to an enormous damage award after trial that will far exceed Limewire’s ability to pay.”

As a result, Lime Company, which ran this service, can no longer operate Limewire.

“Naturally, we’re disappointed with this turn of events,” George Searle, CEO of Lime Company, said in a statement.

“We are extremely proud of our pioneering history and have, for years, worked hard to bridge the gap between technology and content rights holders.

“However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software,” said Searle.

Searle however pointed out that the injunction only applies to the Limewire service and that the company were still open for business. In the statement, he promised to share more details of a new service soon.