The widely known P2P file-sharing strong-hold Lime Wire has officially discontinued its availability of free downloads. After a legal battle spanning four years, an injunction was released by U.S. Supreme Federal Court Judge, Kimba Maureen Wood, ordering Lime Wire to disable its "searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality.
The suit, which was filed by the RIAA on behalf of eight music publishers including Interscope Records, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Bros. Records stated LimeWire “intentionally encouraged direct infringement” by its users and allowed for “infringement on a massive scale.”
LimeWire stopped distributing its software on the day of the injunction and a legal notice was posted on the company’s website stating downloading or sharing copyrighted content through the service is illegal.
In response to a federal court’s ruling that peer-to-peer service LimeWire and its operators are liable for inducement of widespread copyright theft, Mitch Bainwol, RIAA Chairman &CEO, offered the following comment:
“This definitive ruling is an extraordinary victory for the entire creative community. The court made clear that LimeWire was liable for inducing widespread copyright theft.
“LimeWire is one of the largest remaining commercial peer-to-peer services. Unlike other P2P services that negotiated licenses, imposed filters or otherwise chose to discontinue their illegal conduct following the Supreme Court's decision in the Grokster case, LimeWire instead thumbed its nose at the law and creators.
The court’s decision is an important milestone in the creative community’s fight to reclaim the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce. By finding LimeWire's CEO personally liable, in addition to his company, the court has sent a clear signal to those who think they can devise and profit from a piracy scheme that will escape accountability.