LimeWire was featured twice this week, for both some good and some bad news. The IFPI touted another victory against unauthorized BitTorrent sharing when the Bulgarian search engine TorrentValley was shut down by local authorities. And there's some interesting RIAA/College student news coming out of Duke University.
LimeWire had a bit of a roller coaster week. The New York based Gnutella development company announced that version 5.0 of their software would introduce social sharing. Social sharing is similar to the traditional P2P experience, with the exception that the end user is sharing withing a small group of trusted friends. There is no anticipated release date just yet, but two screen shots have already been released.
Now, for every high, there's usually a nasty low. According to TorrentFreak, a French court ruled that the SociÃ©tÃ© civile des Producteurs de Phonogrammes en France (SPPF), the local copyright traffic cops, can sue LimeWire, Vuze and SourceForge for copyright infringement. There had been a legal question whether an American company could be sued under French law, which now appears to be settled.
But the real shocker is the suit against SourceForge, which is widely known as an open source community - thousands of people submit home grown projects and interact with the community to improve their software. SourceForge hosts many P2P applications, such as eMule, Sharaza, and AresGalaxy. BItTorrent, Inc., despite being operationally very similar to LimeWire and Vuze, once again eludes legal action.
BitTorrent suffered the loss of yet another search engine/indexer, this time the Bulgarian site TorrentValley. TorrentValley had an impressive following, with a RSS base of approximately 140,000 individuals. The site was taken offline in a raid on November 11. The fate of the website administrator is currently unknown.
Duke University has thrown a wrench into the RIAA's pre-litigation campaign, as the school will now demand evidence before forwarding settlement letters to students suspected of piracy. This is mainly a symbolic move, as the music industry still has recourse under the DMCA and will likely follow up with "John Doe" lawsuits.