Permanent Injunction Shuts Down LimeWire

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.

  1. For me, this decision has been a long time coming. It has always puzzled me how these types of online distribution sites remain operating when they are blatantly violating copyright laws. It was nice to have free access to music files while it lasted, but it is about time LimeWire was shut down.

  2. The music industry is no closer to realizing that their current economic model is unsustainable. Despite the victory in shutting down a program that is relatively unused today, they’re losing the war against millions of individuals. This won’t do much to stop file sharing, it’s just time for others to leap on the frostwire bandwagon.

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