Leslie Chong is a J.D. Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School
Following the court’s earlier ruling (our commentary here) in favour of The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), LimeWire has shut down its services after being served with a federal injunction that disables “LimeWire’s searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and distribution features, effective immediately.” Served in the U.S. District Court in New York, this injunction brings an end to a 4-year-old struggle between the music industry and the file-sharing service founded by Mark Gorton. LimeWire is now joining the ranks of defeated peer-to-peer services like Napster and Kazaa, and could be facing up to $1 billion dollars in damages following a failed attempt to negotiate a settlement involving their legal music service, Spoon.
In granting the injunction, Judge Kimba Wood found that LimeWire had “intentionally caused a ‘massive scale of infringement’ involving thousands of works” that has cost RIAA members “hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue”. While expressing disappointment in the injunction, Lime Company (which owns LimeWire) appeared nonetheless optimistic about its future in providing digital music services and claims to be “working with the music industry to move forward”, despite the contentious statistics and difficulty it faces in establishing a legitimate music downloading service.