The makers of popular file-sharing service LimeWire have been forced by a US federal court to shut down its peer-to-peer software.
LimeWire is one of the largest sources of illegal free music downloads on the internet and is especially popular in the US. However, a notice on the LimeWire website reads:
“This is an official notice that LimeWire is under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software. Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal.”
LimeWire has ceased offering its software and is moving to disable the software on machines that already have it installed.
“For the better part of the last decade, LimeWire and Gorton have violated the law,” music trade body RIAA stated. “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 January, the court will conduct a trial to determine the appropriate level of damages necessary to compensate the record companies for the billions and billions of illegal downloads that occurred through the LimeWire system.”
The owners behind the site now plan to launch a new legal download service that it hopes will be live within four weeks.