Court Shuts Down LimeWire

Popular peer-to-peer service warned against sharing and distributing unauthorized following RIAA lawsuit

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LimeWire, the popular decade-old peer-to-peer network, was shut down yesterday after losing its legal battle against the RIAA, Wired reports.

A federal judge found that 93 percent of the traffic on Limewire, which drew 50 million users a month, involved the transfer of unauthorized copyright material. Under the judge's orders, LimeWire ceased all "searching, downloading, uploading [and] file trading."

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The decision marks the first time legal action has been taken against a peer-to-peer software provider since the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that file-sharing companies could be sued for distributing copyright-infringing materials. RIAA filed their lawsuit against LimeWire in 2006.

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"As of today, we are required to stop distribution and support of LimeWire's P2P file-sharing service as a result of a court-ordered injunction," LimeWire CEO George Searle wrote yesterday on the company"s website. "Naturally, we're disappointed with this turn of events. We are extremely proud of our pioneering history and have, for years, worked hard to bridge the gap between technology and content rights holders. However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software. It's a sad occasion for our team, and for you — the hundreds of millions of people who have used LimeWire to discover new things."