US Judge Orders LimeWire to Disable File Sharing Software

Saturday, 30 October 2010

LimeWire, the music file sharing service giant that has been mired in a four year legal struggle with the music industry, has been issued an injunction by a federal judge in New York to disable key parts of its service.

LimeWire software, the file sharing service has allowed people to share music and other files over the internet.

LimeWire was founded by Mark Gorton, a successful Wall Street trader, in 2000.

In her ruling, Judge Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court in Manhattan forced the company to disable “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality” of the company’s file-sharing software.

The Recording Industry Association of America, the music industry’s trade group that had managed the suit, said in a statement obtained by the New York Times, “For the better part of the last decade, LimeWire and Gorton have violated the law. The court has now signed an injunction that will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that LimeWire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely.”

In May, Judge Wood ruled that the company had violated copyright law and was liable for damages. The court is scheduled to decide early next year the amount the company and Gorton will have to pay.

Lime Group claimed that it is now working on a new piece of software that the company promises will adhere to copyright laws. The new service will include a desktop media player, mobile apps and a catalog of music from which people can stream and download songs.

We are out of the file-sharing business, but you can make it known that other aspects of our business remain ongoing,” Lime Group spokeswoman Tiffany Guarnaccia said, cited by the AP.

But Guarnaccia declined to say when this new service might be launched.

To make the new service a success Lime Group will require negotiating deals with the record companies to stock LimeWire’s music. But it was not clear whether the Lime Group had struck any deals so far.

LimeWire now appears to be headed the way of the former Internet firms accused of piracy, Napster and Grokster, both of which lost legal battles against the music industry.


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