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LimeWire Shuts Down - Injunction Ordered
October 26, 2010
Thomas Mennecke
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LimeWire, once the pinnacle of P2P file-sharing under the flag of Gnutella, is under a court order to stop distributing its software. About an hour ago, the website became inaccessible, with the following message splashed across its home page:

"This is an official notice that LimeWire is under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software. Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal."

Today's permanent injunction spells the end for LimeWire, at least the way most in the file-sharing community remember it. Artista Records and several other big music labels officially brought suit against LimeWire back in August of 2006, alleging copyright infringement on a massive scale. Judge Kimba Wood agreed, stating in the order that LimeWire "intentionally encouraged direct infringement."

It gets worse. Judge Wood also wrote that LimeWire knew about the "substantial infringement being committed" and that LimeWire "marketed itself to Napster users who were known copyright infrngers..." The Judge also noted that LimeWire has been downloaded nearly 50 million time since July 2008, and that its user base "has only gotten bigger".

Well, we don't know how much bigger Gnutella has gotten in the last few years. If anything, the latest Sandvine internet snapshot dictates that Gnutella has all but fallen off the face of the Earth, save for limited activity in North America. Most will remember LimeWire as one of the first real alternatives to Napster way back in 2001, when Gnutella became a viable option after Shawn Fanning's creation was shut down by the RIAA. Now, nearly 10 years later, they score another victory, but the world has long moved on from this once great file-sharing network.

The penalty phase of the trial is next, where LimeWire, or rather Mark Gorton, could be looking at a billion plus price tag in damages.


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