Court orders LimeWire to cease file-sharing business

P2P software maker had been accused by music industry of enabling massive piracy

by Jaikumar Vijayan

Oct 26, 2010 07:15 pm | Computerworld

In a major victory for the music industry, a New York federal judge has ordered embattled P2P software maker LimeWire to immediately and permanently stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software.

In a 17-page injunction (PDF document) issued on Tuesday, Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered LimeWire to cease the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and file distribution functionality of LimeWire’s P2P file-sharing software.

The injunction instructed LimeWire to immediately communicate the court’s decision to all users of the software and to all of the company’s employees, principals and other stakeholders. It gave the company 14 days to report back to the court on the steps LimeWire has taken to comply with the order.

A spokeswoman for the company today stressed that the court’s order does not mean that LimeWire is shutting down and said that it only prevents LimeWire from distributing or supporting its P2P software.

It does not prohibit the company from going ahead with its previously announced plans to launch a subscription based music service and neither does it prohibit the company from operating its online store, the LimeWire spokeswoman said.

“While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward,” the spokeswoman said by e-mail. “We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future.”

The court injunction is a huge victory for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which has been trying to get the court to shut down LimeWire for quite some time.

The RIAA and the music labels it represents have accused LimeWire and its chief executive, Mark Gorton, of willfully enabling widespread copyright infringement.

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