RIAA: LimeWire employee released LimeWire pirate edition

Could “MetaPirate”, the person behind the launch of LimeWire: Pirate Edition, be someone who is or was a LimeWire employee?

According to new court documents filed by the Recording Industry of America, they believe it is and have launched a manhunt in an attempt to uncover the person’s identity.

RIAA: LimeWire employee released LimeWire pirate edition

“An anonymous developer calling himself or herself ‘Meta Pirate’ launched the website at http://metapirate.webs.com that provides users with several links to download the LimeWire Pirate Edition,” wrote RIAA attorneys this week in documents submitted to the Southern District of New York Federal Court. “Press reports indicated that ‘Meta Pirate’ is either formerly or presently a Lime Wire employee. Plaintiffs requested expedited discovery to uncover the identity of ‘Meta Pirate.'”

The RIAA has also requested cooperation with their investigation, and the court has ordered LimeWire management to turn over the following documentation:

(i) a list of all current and former employees of the Defendant who, to Defendants’ knowledge, have had possession or knowledge of the private key used to sign the LimeWire SIMPP file in the past year, and (ii) a list of all known LimeWire software developers, programmers, or other employees who, to Defendants’ knowledge, would have been capable of excising the features that were removed from LimeWire 5.6 beta before it was redistributed as the LimeWire Pirate Edition.

But representatives for LimeWire state that they have no knowledge of who is behind the Pirate Edition of their P2P file sharing software. “Lime Wire is complying with the court-ordered injunction. We have informed the court we are not involved in the distribution of LimeWire Pirate Edition [and have not] used the name Meta Pirate,” a spokesperson said in a statement issued to CNET. “We have issued a cease and desist letter to the hosting company of LimeWire Pirate Edition and have asked that others comply with the injunction.”

Ars Technica claims to have spoken with MetaPirate about the situation and asked if he or she had ever worked for Limewire. “I am an agent provocateur for the RIAA, and you can quote me on that… The monkeys who created LimeWire Pirate Edition are not associated in any way with Lime Wire LLC,” was the reply. As to the success the RIAA will have in discovering his (or her) identity, “Good luck, I’m behind seven proxies,” MetaPirate said.

For now, LimeWire has launched their own investigation and has managed to take MetaPirate’s website offline. As we’ve seen so far, however, it’s hard to keep a good pirate down.