Federal Court Shuts Down LimeWire With Permanent Injunction

LimeWire, the Gnutella-based peer-to-peer file-sharing service, is no more. Major record labels, also known as file-sharers’ archnemesis the RIAA, obtained an injunction from a U.S. District Court judge in New York City that stops Limewire from distributing their software or facilitating any file-sharing.

In a statement, the company tells the media, “While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward. We look forward to embracing necessary changes and working with the entire music industry in the future.” That’s optimistic, but record labels want compensation for the billions of copyrighted files shared using Limewire.

A trial is set for January.

Injunction [LimeWire] (PDF)
Sour ruling for LimeWire as court says to turn off P2P functionality [Ars Technica] (Thanks, Chad!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. nucwin83 says:

    And another one bites the dust. Surprised it took this long honestly.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      I used Limewire a bit something like 5-6 years ago and I’m amazed to hear they’re still around. It was always a pain to use and gave poor results so I shifted to other means. This just makes the RIAA look hopelessly outdated to me.

  2. ARP says:

    I agree with this ruling, but this does little to convince the RIAA to change their ways and embrace new business models for digital music.

    • spamtasticus says:

      I agree as well. Next we should shut down all those damn pirating libraries. Every time one of those nefarious bastards shares a book for free without sending royalties to the printer and a pittance to the author it kills our country one little bit. Burn them down!

      • Willnet says:

        But you don’t own the book. Is it illegal to make photocopies of every page?

        • Pax says:

          Doe teh ability to make a photocopy, rnder the photocopier itself illegal?

          Were Canon or Xerox ever hit with permanent injunctions to remove their ability to copy any document at all, regardless of actual copyright status?


          News for you: P2P software is a virtual photocopier.

          • Bsamm09 says:

            Nope. It’s more like a virtual fax machine, for lack of a better analogy. When you copy something on a copier and keep the copy yourself, that is fine. You can’t tear the pages out of a book and fax it to your buddy.

            In academics, the line is a little blurrier. Professors can copy excerpts from text and give it to their class but not an entire book.

            • Pax says:

              When you copy something on a copier and keep the copy yourself, that is fine.

              No, it is not fine.

              Ask a lawyer, if you don’t believe me.

      • ShruggingGalt says:

        That’s right, because the RIAA has stated that anyone who listens to music they haven’t paid for is pirating that music!

      • Billy says:

        You are explicitly allowed to rent out the physical copy of a book, CD, or other media (first sale doctrine).

        Your comparison is not explicable.

    • Griking says:

      Embrace what new business models? You mean allowing all of their catalogs to be downloaded for free? You already have iTunes where you can legally purchase and download pretty much everything you’d ever want. But of course they aren’t free.

      • regis-s says:

        I seriously doubt that almost any music that has ever been produced is available on iTunes. I know there’s music that I haven’t found anywhere online. Whether that’s iTunes, Limewire or any other place I could think of. Legal or otherwise.

        • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

          I have pirated music that has gone “out of print” because I’m not willing to pay a collector hundreds of dollars or order it from a specialty store overseas. I also don’t buy the whole “import” label bullshit. I have paid cash for an awful lot of music since I was 12, first on tape, then on CD.

          Anyone ever sit down and calculate how much it would cost to “legally” fill a 250GB iPod?

    • DanRydell says:

      Er… what new business models? They embraced digital distribution many years ago. There are many companies you can buy music from DRM-free. You also have options that give you access to a huge amount of music as long as you pay a subscription free (essentially music rental). What else do you want?

      • Billy says:

        To be fair, there are other business models still contemplated. Just a couple weeks ago the idea was floated in the UK to drop the price of a full album to £1. The thought is that it would be better to collect many smaller transactions than to miss out on getting paid on a more expensive download due to free trading.


      • CoachTabe says:

        Can you please tell me where I might find a site that sells different quality audio files for different prices? Say 128k, 256k, 320k mp3s and FLACs? How about all the stuff that’s out print and not legally available at all digitally?

  3. The Marionette says:

    Eh, one down, 2 more will pop up in it’s place.

  4. BigDave says:


    People still use limewire?

    • chefboyardee says:

      Yes – all my friends that call me over to diagnose why their PC is running slow and is riddled with spyware. *sigh*

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Haha, that’s the truth! Pre-2000 things like limewire were pretty awesome but now torrents are the way to go. As always, have a reliable virus scanner!

    • theduckay says:

      I used to until a few months ago when I started using torrents. I never had a problem or a virus on my computer from using Limewire. Then again, I didn’t use it very heavily…just for the occasional mp3.

    • Mamudoon says:

      Eh, I’ve used it if I was just looking for a single song – just used it a few days ago, in fact. Never got any viruses or spyware from it (though at the risk of coming off as a Mac snob, I don’t have problems with those in the first place). It’s served me pretty well.

      But if I’m looking for albums or large collections of music, I use torrents.

  5. MattSaintCool says:

    Oh well, let me just fire up Napster… er, Morpheus… Kazaa?

  6. diasdiem says:

    Whatever will the 3 people who still use LimeWire do?

    • davidsco says:

      You’d be surprised. I clean Limewire of people’s computers almost weekly. The idiot kids, and some of their parents, still use it

  7. Ekopy says:

    Oh darn! You mean I can’t use Limewire to download viruses anymore? Schucks… :(

  8. Levk says:

    eh, where one dies 4 more come out

  9. diasdiem says:

    Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios (“The Betamax Case”) should fix this in short order.

    • Tim says:

      Yeah, no. Try MGM Studios v. Grokster (2005).

      … one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties.

  10. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    People will just use Frostwire, or Bittorrent instead.

    Make CDs cost $10 across the board. Then you’ll have a lot less piracy. There, I fixed it.

    • stevenpdx says:

      CDs? What the what?

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      Doubtful. Most new digital albums start out around $5 at places like Amazon MP3 and max out around $10.

      • Azzizzi says:

        Plus, the argument that “I only like one song on the whole album” is no longer valid because you can usually buy them individually now, too.

    • thewriteguy says:

      I don’t remember the last time when I bought a CD, new or used. Nowadays I prefer buying my music as downloads from Amazon.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        In my area, there are still a lot of independent bands who only sell their music via CD. I think it’s worth $5 or $10 to show support for a local band.

    • DanRydell says:

      You CAN get most CDs for around $10-13. Music is cheaper now than it was in the 90s (when $16-18 was more typical). People don’t pirate because they want to pay less, people pirate because they want to pay NOTHING.

      • Poisonthescene says:

        Actually, a lot of people pirate simply because they consume more media. I’ve bought 83 CDs this year (many used and closeouts), but I still torrent here and there.

  11. DoodlestheGreat says:

    People still used LimeWire?

  12. ngwoo says:

    How long until they get ballsier and go after uTorrent?

    • ecwis says:

      uTorrent is actually used for legal downloads though. I downloaded Ubuntu using it, along with some other opensource software. They don’t host any of the files either.

    • MrEvil says:

      Bit Torrent already has a very public legitimate use. If the **AA decided to go after them with a similar injunction they could show up in court and show how Blizzard uses their technology to distribute game updates as well as the entire game client to users. They could also show all the different Linux distributions and other freeware programs that are available to download via torrent. Plus, bit-torrent proper isn’t marketing itself as a copyright infringement tool like Limewire is. It is HIGHLY doubtful that a judge would pass an Injunction against a company who offers a product for lawful use that is currently being used for a lawful purpose.

    • Dory says:

      Torrents aren’t a proprietary technology in the same way that LimeWire was. You don’t connect to the Official Central Torrent Server, nor do you need to use the Official LimeWire Client to do so. With that in mind, even if you somehow shut down uTorrent, there would still be servers and clients of all kinds and flavours and the technology would just keep on rolling.

  13. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Barn door. Horses.

  14. jun0 says:

    I stopped using Limewire years ago but the major issue here is how the RIAA refuses to adopt to new media. Back in the day, they used to make loads of money off CDs with there highly inflated prices. Now that most people listen to their music on media players and phones and get their media online, they aren’t seeing the money like they used to. Personally, I have have not purchased a CD for my listening pleasure in about a decade. I get all my media online.
    While some people do buy their music from legitimate means, some people, have found better places to find their media, including myself.

    Also I really cannot stand how a high number of representatives from both organizations like the RIAA and the like seem to think that there is no legitimate reason for using P2P.

  15. Pax says:

    Well, damn.

    I use Limewire for one purpose only: downloading patches for World of Warcraft. Seriously, Blizzard’s provided P2P downloader is pure shite. I get 10x the speed, or more, using LimeWire with the exact same seed.

    • Pelonis says:

      Blizzes p2p downloader is actually a direct downloader with bittorent function.

      If you are downloading slow, you most likely have the bittorent turned off. Along with many other downloaders you are direct downloading the same files only, which causes low download speeds.

      • Pax says:

        There isn’t a setting I can change or alter, that improves my download speeds through the Blizzard P2P downloader.

        And my situation is common enough, that there are entire sets of iunstructions on how to use other P2P software to get the patches.

    • nrich239 says:

      I have found with the updater that if I have the bittorrent side turned on, it maxes out my upload pipe which makes my download slow to a crawl. (down runs ~56k up runs ~1.5Mbps when torrent is on)

      Also, you can go to wowwiki pretty quickly after a patch is released and they have the torrent there separately for use with your choice of torrent program.

      • Pax says:

        Just an aside?

        WowWiki is NOT the place to go anymore. After a major fracas with the Wikia network-wide administrators (who rammed a new, mandatory, more-space-for-our-ads-and-f*ck-your-content skin down every Wiki’s throat, over a vast and widespread howl of protests)…. the core administrative, editor/contributor, and readership community voted in favor of a fork, and left Wikia behind.

        We are now hosted by the Curse network. The new URL is:


        Update your bookmarks.

  16. demonicfinger says:

    hmmm… now that limewire is gone forever, how can us consumers steal from the musicians?

    • regis-s says:

      I think you mean: “How can us consumers steal from the labels who are stealing from musicians?”

    • Munchie says:

      How about musicians get with the times and learn its only possible to get paid by doing live performances. Digital copies have broken the record industry, this rage from the internet is its death squeal.

    • ecwis says:

      It’s not stealing. It’s infringing on their intellectual property rights.

  17. bluecoyote says:

    Ten bucks says the judge doesn’t know and could not correctly explain the difference between the internet, a browser, and a search engine.

    • Sheogorath says:

      The internet is a series of tubes.
      A browser is like a TV.
      And a search engine is a big truck.

      There! I explained them all!

  18. crazy guggenheim says:

    Jesus, who’s next? WinMx? I’d love to see the Feds shut down the RIAA for something like restriction of trade, serve the fuckers right.

  19. talkistalk says:

    Regardless who still used Limewire it helped alot of people who couldn’t afford the 15-20 dollar CD albums and to gain a larger collection and variety as quickly as Limewire offered. It’s crap that CD’s are so expensive cause they can’t sell like they did years ago..

    However I do understand why the price is so high, with all the free downloading sites ,they have to raise their album price to try and make up for what profit they lose from the sites.. But maybe they should just reopen it and change the rules and settings for a flat price a year (That’s reasonable) they can have unlimited access to any file downloading they desire, and it would also help build up the funds to pay back the music industry for those billions of dollars they took from working artists. It just makes sense that they should just charge it to one flat rate a year to use it and download anything the site offers… that way they are not cheating the music industry out of money, yet still allowing music at our hands easier than buying dozens of cd’s..

  20. BillyDeeCT says:

    The RIAA has caused me change to purchasing of music to vinyl-based recordings (remember records?) for many reasons:

    1. No copy protection!
    2. I enjoy the challenge of restoring vintage vinyl
    3. Those RIAA crumbs won’t make a dime on my purchase
    4. Only a small percentage of modern music appeals to me enough to consider purchase.
    5. I refuse to support the RIAA greed machine.

    If more people got equally fed up, the RIAA would have to look at changing their business practices instead of trying to screw anything that breathes. If I buy one CD per year that’s a lot. I think I haven’t purchased CDs in some years as I have most music that I want and only augment my collection with “radio versions” of songs, usually from promo pressings in vinyl.

  21. Bkhuna says:

    Let’s not totally get rid of P2P, it keeps the children busy and out of the way of the real geeks who prefer Usenet.

  22. LightningUsagi says:

    Mmmmmm, Nutella.

  23. Buddha says:

    Wait… people still use limewire? People have been using torrents for years. By the time these people get stuff shut down there are 10 other sites and programs doing the same thing.

  24. Broncoskip says:

    Great, there goes my lucrative side business of removing viruses from high school students laptops! Limewire seemed to bring in alot of viruses. Ive known this for years, and am surprised to see it installed and used on peoples computers.

    All this is doing for pirating is thinning out the bad apples. The people doing the downloading will just look for the next application that will get them their music.

  25. BomanTheBear says:

    Sonofabitch, I had just found a copy of Avatar_Full_Movie.exe! And it was only 346 kb! What a find! Now I don’t know how to steal it.

  26. dolemite says:

    It would be humorous if the RIAA and MPAA actually managed to shut down the ability to pirate/burn any music at all (after spending billions of dollars over years and years). And they find their sales still dwindle year after year, and piracy had only a small effect on their profits after all, due to the fact Fallout Boy, Willow Smith, Soulja Boy, et al…*suck*.

  27. YOXIM says:

    Finally the RIAA does something right. LimeWire was a cesspool of viruses and malware. I’m surprised anyone was still using that travesty of a program in this day and age. Good riddance!

  28. backinpgh says:

    I’m surprised it was still around at all. once I started getting viruses from everything I downloaded I got rid of it.

    • wsupfoo says:

      Is it possible to get a virus from a downloaded MP3? Or are people getting these from programs they download?

      • Froggmann says:

        Typically they would come as a trojan. Something masquerading as an MP3 or movie file or what have you. Keep in mind most people that used limewire had “Hide file extensions for known file types” enabled and either an ineffective or no anti-virus because it “slowed down their computer”.

  29. drizzt380 says:

    I use my TV to access my big truck so that I can find out whats in my series of tubes all the time.

    All the time.

  30. JollyJumjuck says:

    I work in an office with a criminal defense lawyer. A few of his clients have been purveyors of child pornography. Guess which service every one of them used to obtain the photos?

  31. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    They realise this isn’t helping anything, right?

  32. Mecharine says:

    I surprised people were still using LimeWire.

  33. pot_roast says:

    It’ll simply move overseas.

    The RIAA & MPAA need to figure out that America does not run the internet, and American laws don’t mean squat outside of our borders. File all the legal court injunctions you want, but they mean absolutely nothing to a kid in Korea.

    No wonder so much tech is moving out of the US. We’re legislating ourselves into a hole.

  34. gparlett says:

    Goodbye LimeWire. You were the service that finally convinced me to start paying for MP3s. l

  35. cameronl says:

    Thirty plus years ago, I was paying $1 for a single. That’s about $3 in today’s dollars. A buck now for a legally downloaded single is a frickin’ bargain.

    How much is a whole album (download or CD)? $12-18. And in most cases your getting 60+ minutes of material, compared to 35-45 minutes in your typical LP from way back.

    Get off my lawn, you whiny kids!

  36. smarty-pants44 says:

    Aren’t they cutting that lime the wrong way in the picture?

  37. packcamera says:

    Wow, the four people still using Limewire will be very disappointed. I wonder where they will go to find pirated media ? [/snark]

  38. jcargill says:

    Just you all wait until you have to paypal Bono $1 every time you listen to a U2 song.

  39. Froggmann says:

    The way I look at it, good. I’m tired of having to fix my brother in laws’ computers every time the idiots download some freaking virus from there.

  40. JoeS says:

    When RIAA shut down Napster, I stopped buying music. After a while I found I didn’t miss it, and saved a lot of money! I adopted 2 dogs and have a lot more fun playing with them, don’t even listen to the radio.

  41. p. observer says:

    oh no now how will i spread my viruses… oh wait i switched to spreading through torrents a long time ago (torrents really are a good medium for virus spreading)

  42. gman863 says:

    Sean Fanning let the intellectual property out of the bottle when he launched the original P2P Napster over a decade ago.

    No matter what the RIAA does, it will not stop file sharing.

  43. mkn1972 says:

    Huh… I’ve always wondered how truthful the RIAA is being about “Piracy hurts the artists…” How much of the money they get in their stupid lawsuits is being paid to the artist, I wonder? I’d bet it’s a big fat zero.