LimeWire Shuttered by the Feds

You can’t provide a service to anonymous users with the intention that it should be used to steal copyrighted data. You just can’t because number one, its wrong and B), the copyright holders eventually win and this happens:

From the WSJ here:

Popular file-sharing website LimeWire has been ordered to permanently shut down six months after a federal judge found it liable for copyright infringement on a “massive scale.”

In an order Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan entered a permanent injunction, ordering the service to disable the searching, downloading, uploading or file trading of its software and to block the sharing of unauthorized music files.

In May, the judge found that LimeWire had violated copyright laws and induced users to infringe on copyrights. She also found Mark Gorton, LimeWire’s founder, personally liable.

The RIAA said the court will conduct a trial in January to determine damages.

On its website, LimeWire posted a notice that said it was under court order to stop distributing and supporting its software. “Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal,” the notice said.

After what happened to Napster back in the early 00’s I can’t imagine why anyone would remain in the P2P filesharing software business. The legal liabilities were clear, yet Mark Gorton took that gamble. It will bankrupt him now. And yet if he had focused instead on working with recording companies to price music competitively he could have become immensely wealthy. Look at Napster now and more obvious, iTunes. Music is obviously widely available and people are more than willing to pay for it if its good. Had Limewire become a legitimate music purchasing service instead of a free-for-all where people traded viruses, porn, copyrighted programs and music, Gorton could have been an industry giant.

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