Free Music Download Program LimeWire Shut Down By Court

Libby Kane

LimeWire Has Officially Been Shut Down.

Fare thee well, LimeWire. After years of law-skirting notoriety, LimeWire has finally been shut down by federal order.

LimeWire Was The Most Popular Of Its Kind

For those of you still buying CDs and faithfully purchasing iTunes, LimeWire is (was) a downloadable file-sharing program. Its main purpose was to “share” music—to let people upload and download music for free, without any kickback to the artist or label. While it didn’t exactly plaster “Best way to steal music!” across its homepage, it’s pretty well acknowledged that music theft was its driving force.

The RIAA Pressed Charges, Won

That being the case, its shut-down was a matter of time. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claimed that the free music could have led to a loss of billions of dollars revenue. From TorrentFreak:

According to the injunction, LimeWire “intentionally encouraged infringement” by LimeWire users, it is used “overwhelmingly for infringement” and it knew about the “substantial infringement being committed” by its users.

LimeWire was immediately shut down by order of the New York District Court, but expects to recreate itself with a “non-infringing” service.

We’re Not The Only Ones

Ethically, we know that downloading copyrighted material for free is stealing (yes, we’ve  seen those PSAs). But on another, very-well-hidden-and-not-at-all-admitting-use-of-the-program level, we’re sad to see LimeWire go.

Tell us in the comments: How do you feel about illegal file-sharing? Does it upset you or are you happy that it exists?

Image Credit: Vicarious Music

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  • Anonymous

    I may be in the minority but I’m not a fan of doing anything that has “illegal” in the title. Readers, what do you think?nCheers,nCaroline nLearnVest’s Chief Content and Community Officer

    • Acchindria

      In all honesty this is one of the silliest things I have seen the US government dabble in and I’ve seen quite a bit of silly things from them. nnMadam Caroline, I’m pretty sure you are a lady of more years than most of the people posting here even if only by two or three in some cases. Youth today see our technological capabilities and want everything we can get from that. Why is it that we cannot share anything with our friends? Why is it that we are not allowed the freedom promised by the internet anymore? nnMany people here made many good points. Why should we pay twenty dollars for a CD that we end up hating? That’s twenty dollars that we worked hard for down the drain because retailers (at least down here) will not refund your money for any type of CD. (That includes DVDs, games, applications… etc) nnHow does downloading one song from an album on limewire create such a hooplah? People who used Limewire probably went out and bought an album after being able to hear the music it contained. And even if they didn’t buy the album they went to a concert, bought a t-shirt or some other trinket that made the RIAA rich. nnI think the RIAA is going out of it’s way to harm people. It doesn’t really pay the artists that big of a percentage and yet all of them are rich. It keeps most of what is made and still are unhappy. If this were an issue of the RIAA being financially crippled and artists going broke left and right I would see this as a bigger issue but right now this is nothing more than a battle of the greedy against youth and technology.nnUnless they are going to come sue us all for letting our friends borrow our iPod once in a while then they need to back off.nnThere are some interesting bits of information about how greedy the RIAA is getting in the Wikipedia file on it. Like how they tried to sue a recently deceased woman and one of the founding companies in the MP3 player market. You guys should look it up.

  • anonymous

    To be honest, I am split on this subject. While anything done illegally is against my moral upbringing, in this day and age, people will resort to illegal action if they want something bad enough. Regrettably I have done this in the past on occasion and I can’t say that I am very proud of it. “Stealing” music or even movies, games, applications, etc. from the internet does hurt the people who make it, but then again, downloading these things illegally is sort of great for the person who can obtain it without having to pay a cent. Especially given the way the American economy is right now. So, while it would be great if it didn’t exist, I am still happy that it does. This is my honest opinion.

    • LeopART

      me too! i’ve gotten a lot of songs illegally, but i also buy cds after i really love a song… so i’m playing both sides here.

  • BigLoui

    I think Amerrykkka is the greediest country in the galaxy what are they going to doshut down sattelite radio because u record songs from it too what about plain fm radio is that next? come one get better salepersonel to sell your crappy records and stop blaming the public ive downloaded songs heard them and still went out and bought the cd you just lost a cd customer here i hope alot more will follow we can all stop buying cds for a yr and break record companies or at least squeeze them to stop their silly lawsiuts

    • Boots1807

      Super disagree with this. America may be heinously greedy, but this isn’t evidence of that. What we need to keep in mind is that, overpaid as they are, the singers, writers, musicians, and producers do those things as their jobs, not out of the good of their hearts. I, for one, would hate if people were taking the products of my work and not paying me for it. We have no more right to free music than to free doctor’s visits, or home furnishings, or cars. If it’s a product, we have to pay for it.

      • Charles Luina

        What about the artist that started on limewire. It wasn’t just to steal music. Some artist made it on limewire 50 cent for example put his first few songs on there and got signed years later from the hype. Limewire is simply file sharing I actually change my whole musical genre prefference from music tested by downloading.I would have wasted a lot of money on crappy CDs if I didn’t test the artist first.

      • sikorsky

        These are millionaire’s complaining because they don’t make enough money because we download some of their music. The musicians in this country amass for probably 1%, right? The military also is a staggering 1%. With what Michael Jackson made after his death, you could pay my salary for the rest of my life. The music industry is so screwed up it’s ridiculous. Let’s all cry because we only make 1.5 million a year when we could be making 2.

  • Nooa

    I never understood what made it “illegal”. I know that a person can go out and “buy” a cd and upload it onto limewire, in this case does the “owner” of the cd not have the right to do what he/she pleases? If a good cd comes out most people go out and buy it anyways, I for example was sick of buying a cd for one good song so I would just download the song and save myself a few bucks. Much like everything else it all comes down to the money and who is losing it.

    • Lala

      Yeah but in order to pay the artists and not buy entire CDs, they have programs like iTunes, where you pay for individual tracks. That way you don’t spend as much, and they profit from their work.nnAnd the owner of the CD def isn’t supposed to reproduce it without permission, just like with DVDs. Technically, even restaurants playing music are supposed to have permits that say they’re legally allowed to use the music.

      • Autumn1112

        Man, that’s a lie! iTunes doesn’t necessarily let you purchase “individual tracks”nOn most albums, sure they do.nOn others, you have to buy the WHOLE album to get the ONE good song on it! Why? Because that album wasn’t making as much money as they wanted it to! And because they figured out the one good song on it was popular, they knew people like us would either:nA. Buy the whole album & waste our money to get itnORnB. Find Incredible websites like Limewire & get what we want with no strings attached.nnBut now they took the B. out of our options & F***ed everything up.

    • Saddsa

      No. You cant share any files in P2P that are copyright

  • Death_khaos

    I never did get why the RIAA was Mad? Its like me buying a cd and letting my friend use mycd and burn it, and he lets his friends burn is burn cd on his computer, Is that Illegal, should be sue the people who made burnners? No. Thats bull shit. Why you think people buy dvd,cd disc to burn movies and music, then sue all stores who sell disc to burn and companys who sell burners, Someone is going to buy the cd and let thier friends use dvd or cd to burn it for free, BULL SHIT.

    • 1Big_94u

      This is really stupid…its not like justin bieber does’nt make enough money already. All we do as consumers, is give millions to the artist and act as enablers so they can party and get strung out. Now we really know what feeds celebrity rehab on TV. I guess if we use or copy any exerpts out of a book or quote someone from a movie for school etc…we now become criminals and get busted. I agree with Death_khaos…this is really BULL SHIT X 2rn1Big_94u

  • Charles Luina

    I miss it already

  • Music Download Sites

    I’m a big supporter of legal music downloads however, oddly enough, I don’t think closing down LimeWire was the best move. My reason is that Limewire alone is not an illegal service. It allows users to share files. That’s not illegal. What is illegal is sharing copyrighted material which of course was what it started being known for so it gave users the ability to conduct themselves in an illegal manor using the service by sharing copyrighted material with no permission by the copyright owners (download music illegally).nnI see it however like closing down a knife making factory cause too many killers use those knives. Ok, a little extreme, but what I’m saying is the knife itself can be useful. It’s the user’s use of the knife that defines if the action is legal or not, but going and closing each knife company one at a time is not a long term solution.nnAll to say, closing LimeWire, though a great intention to try and stop pirated music, it is far from a logical long term solution since all they have done is opened ground for the next big ‘LimeWire’ to gain popularity and spring up. You need a much longer term solution than this to solve the problem and maybe it relates to dealing with internet service providers, who knows. All I know, objectionally, this isn’t it.

  • Casey

    I hate to admit that I was used Limewire pretty frequently. I usually used it just for more obscure music that I couldn’t find on iTunes or to try out new artists whose music I wasn’t committed to paying for. I always felt pretty guilty about using it and was also worried about getting caught! It’s probably better for my sanity, in the long run, that it got shut down, but it’s still a bummer.

  • Tammy88

    its music if one site gives it to you for free let it be

  • pr1nce

    I completely disagree with the court decision and the RIAA decision to sue on 2 different levels.nnCourt: Limewire only allows people to share files, just like torrents and just like lending a good cd to a friend to put on his mp3. Limewire didn’t do anything illegal I believe, it facilitated the process. Just like a bar with a parking lot facilitate drinking and driving without it being illegal (it might be a bad comparison but I think it’s still valid)nnThe argument for the RIAA is that the sharing with so many gets the artists knows and only help develop their popularity. Someone discovering a great artist due to Limewire can then decide to buy his next CD and go to concert and so forth. There are other ways but I’m pretty sure file sharing was the one that worked best for that purpose. Look at Rihanna’s concert always being sold out no matter where she goes. I’m not sure she’d be that popular without internet and file sharing.nnAnyways unless they appeal it can’t be undone but I think it’s a bad decision in all aspects. And we know another one will come out and take the space. Its a matter of days now to take all that available “market”

  • Danielhm82

    I miss it.It’s not fair at all for the government do dictate us on everything we do in our life.It’s no different then me copying a cd for my friend that i paid for.It’s mine and i can do that if want to.That’s not stealing.It’s all about greed.The government wants to find every kind of way to break us through taxes, the end of social security in the future.I am furthermore disgusted with this country as it is.They should be more focused on important issues than worrying about this dumb petty shit.They will never stop people from downloading music for free.They are fighting a losing battle just like they are with drugs, terrorism and everything else going on in the world.They’re is way too many people doing it so they can’t stop it all.So like it or not, it’s not ever gonna stop.

  • Danielhm82

    That’s the greedy government for you.They find every way they can to try to break us.They are only in it for their best interest ours.They are fighting a losing battle.They can’t stop all of the people who download free music just like they can’t stop all the drugs, terrorism, prostitution and everything else in the world.I don’t see anything wrong with someone making a cd for a friend if they’re not selling them for money.It’s no different than you buying a cd of an artist and then copying one for a friend.You paid for it so how is that stealing???? Cause it would be wrong of you to sell it to them in the law’s eyes so they contradict themselves.They are full of shit.

  • Leslieaubern1234

    dude!? this sucks. i hope itunes is happy. just because they shut down limewire doesnt mean were going to buy there expensice music. who seriously wants to pay $1.30 for A song. just one song? id rather just sell my ipod and go buy a zune. now that no one can just “share” the music. limewire was my go to guy. now, i have nothing to get good music from, and i refuse to buy songs from itunes because theyre prices are rediculous, and i dont have that kind of money to just buy music from there with.goodbye ipod. nice knowing you.

    • Jakethasnake919

      So where are you going to get your music for your Zune? Music prices are pretty standardized based on the music industry not by iTunes.

  • no joke

    It will not change the amount of money that the artist receive. I will indeed change the amount of fans and decrease the ticket sales to concerts.

  • Tyler

    Who ever sued limewire needs to get a freakin life

  • Autumn1112

    It’s ridiculous! Limewire was the best thing ever! Illegal as it may be, it was, no, IS the best music downloading site there are!nAnd come on now. Limewire isn’t the ONLY wire out there giving us music.nIt’s distant relative FROSTWIRE works alright. Aside from the spam & the not being able to find music from places like Youtube like Limewire did.nniTunes is crap. Zune is crap. They’re too expensive & just not worth it. I love my iPhone, it’s the best. But until I find something to replace Limewire & better than Frostwire, I’m gonna be listening to the same 456 songs I have. (All downloaded from Limewire, I might add.)

  • Kane6940

    it bull that the stupid courts always have to interfere in every thing just to piss people off

  • Susie

    Fortunately I have another way for music downloading!!!!

  • Mr. Smith

    Can someone please explain to me how limewire has been deemed illegal for almost a full year  ( in which i have downloaded over 500 songs ranging at around $1000 for absolutely no charge at all ) and now they send a letter to my house and tell me i can no longer do it. 

  • Quest

    Music should be enjoyed by all, but the artists should be compensated. I do it through online tip jars. That’s what should put in place for it’s artists. I find lots of good stuff there.