It’s the end of an era on the Internet: LimeWire, one of the first P2P music-sharing services to attain breakthrough popularity online, is pulling the plug on its Gnutella-connected P2P software following a simmering legal battle with the RIAA which ended today with a court-ordered injunction.
“As a result of a court-ordered injunction, we are required to disable ‘the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality; of LimeWire’s P2P file-sharing software,” Lime Wire spokeswoman Tiffany Guarnaccia told PCMag.com.
The free, open-source Limewire Basic peer-to-peer program hit the Internet in 2001, tapping into the Gnutella decentralized peer-to-peer network to share a variety of legal and copyrighted files, including music. Since then, the service has attracted millions of users, although the tracker-based BitTorrent protocol has become arguably more popular, at least to download larger files. Lime Wire also sells LimeWire Pro, a version of the software that costs $34.95, but promises greater access to more sources and with optimized search results.
LimeCompany, the company behind LimeWire, writes on its site that “During this challenging time, we are excited about the future. The injunction applies only to the LimeWire product. Our company remains open for business.” But P2P has been their bread-and-butter for 10 years, so this will be a tough switch, to say the least.
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