By: Drew May
One of the world’s largest file sharing services, Limewire was shut down by the US legal system on Oct. 28. Following a four year legal battle, many view this judgment as a victory for record companies worldwide.
Anyone that has recently tried to use Limewire may find a lack of functionality in the product. This is due to several terms that have been set forth by the US judge who overheard the case against Limewire. Among the terms, Limewire is to cease and desist its operations by disabling the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality, of the Legacy (Limewire) software.
Limewire was made popular by its ability to allow users to download files shared over their network by users worldwide. This included several copyright infringing items such as motion pictures, music albums and more. The plaintiffs in the case included major music labels such as Warner Bros. Records and Virgin America Records.
This decision leads for much speculation of what the future of file sharing is. Limewire is but one file sharing service. Following this announcement all eyes are on the pending court decision determining the fate of The Pirate Bay, another file sharing service. The appeals for The Pirate Bay have ended and the Swedish Appeal Court will announce their stance on whether The Pirate Bay infringes on copyrights. The decision will come forward on Nov. 26.
While Limewire has been officially shut down, the Limewire name has lived on. Recently, a program titled Limewire Pirate Edition has made its way to other file sharing sites which allows Limewire to continue working illegally. Limewire has demanded this illegal program be taken down for infringing on the Limewire copyright.
Companies are pushing harder and harder for file sharing sites to be shut down, and while sites like The Pirate Bay continue to operate, they are certainly under direct investigation as to whether any part of their business is legal. File sharing still lives on, but it is up to anyone as to where the future lies in the industry.
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