The popular file-sharing service known to many music downloaders as LimeWire may soon meet its end. That is, if the Recording Industry Association of America has any say in the matter.
The RIAA filed a request for a permanent injunction last Friday in an effort to have LimeWire shut down. They claim that the popular service does major damage and poses a threat to the music industry as a whole. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood threw a lifeline to LimeWire of two weeks.
Those extra two weeks are meant for LimeWire's attorneys to present a reasonable defense to prevent the service from being shut down. The extra two weeks granted by Judge Wood were not looked upon favorably by the RIAA, as they claimed that every day that LimeWire is allowed to operate is another day of harm to the music industry, and more specifically, the four major record companies that sit atop the musical empire.
LimeWire's run has been a successful one. It is estimated that the service has filled the pockets of its founder and the Lime Group with millions of dollars in revenue. That party could come crashing down in a bad way soon, however, and many of those millions may be taken away by the RIAA. The response from LimeWire to the permanent injunction will likely be enough for Judge Wood to make a ruling. If not, however, the RIAA will also get two weeks to counter LimeWire's filing.
This is not the first time there has been a spat between the music industry and LimeWire. Back in 2006, the service was blasted with allegations concerning copyright law. Just recently, the RIAA won a summary judgment which charged the LimeWire founder Mark Gorton and parent company the Lime Group with copyright infringement. Judge Wood was at the head of that ruling as well.
So far, LimeWire's specific defense does not center around the supposed illegal downloads that it provides, but instead some other projects that it claims to have in the works. The company says that if they are forced to close shop, it would halt the production of new digital-music technologies they are developing. Halting these projects would have an adverse effect on the music industry, or so they believe.
In all likelihood, this will be the end of LimeWire. The end will not be pretty either, as the RIAA is hoping to be awarded damages that could reach the astronomical figure of a billion dollars. LimeWire founder Mark Gorton was accused of hiding proceeds from the service's operations in a family trust, which is a possible sign that he knew this day would come eventually. The RIAA is not buying any excuses, though, and once a decision is made in their favor, they want access to all of the net worth records of the defendants involved in the case.
While LimeWire appears to be doomed, one has to wonder if this is the end of the litigious road for the RIAA, or if they will actively go after downloaders next.
For more on this topic, visit: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20006958-261.html?tag=smallCarouselArea.0
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