Limewire appears to be abandoning plans to transform their former peer-to-peer file-sharing network into a legal music download service, likely marking the end of all operations for the ten year-old company.
A message appeared today on the main page of the LimeWire Store stating that they will no longer be accepting new customers for the service, and that payments and renewals would no longer be accepted from existing customers. Song credits may still be redeemed as long as the store is online, which is currently planned to last through the end of December.
Trouble began for the company in May, when U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood issued a ruling in favor of RIAA claims that Limewire infringed upon music industry copyrights and engaged in unfair competition. Things got a lot worse in October, when the RIAA won a permanent injunction against LimeWire, essentially shutting down the free for all peer to peer operations for good.
Limewire had hoped to make a legal comeback with their pay-per-download music store, however an emerging Limewire Pirate Edition clouded any good intentions they may have had when the RIAA accused Limewire employees of creating the Pirate Edition themselves.
Representatives at Limewire have yet to comment on the closure of their online store. However, reports are emerging that sources familiar with the company have verified that plans to launch a legal service are officially dead.
Peter Kafla at Media Memo speculates that the company is beginning the liquidation of assets in preparation for their January court proceedings, where it will likely be decided that they owe the music industry a great sum of money for copyright infringement violations.
It’s definitely sad to see the official demise of Limewire. While I haven’t used their service in a long time, they were one of the first P2P networks I discovered way back when. The saddest part is that their closure isn’t going to keep anyone from pirating anything.
RIP Limewire May 29,2000 – December 31,2010.