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LimeWire (finally) dies under judge's gavel

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P2P file-sharing enabler LimeWire finally lost its long-running battle against music-industry heavy hitters on Tuesday.

"As of today, we are required to stop distribution and support of LimeWire’s P2P file-sharing service as a result of a court-ordered injunction," reads a statement by Lime Company CEO George Searle on the company's website.

"Naturally, we're disappointed with this turn of events," Searle continues. Naturally.

The injunction was handed down by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. It permanently enjoins and restrains LimeWire from distributing its client software.

Back at LimeWire.com, the software's website, the news was equally straightforward:

LimeWire's home page on October 26, 2010

If you were thinking of downloading the LimeWire client, it's now officially too late

Tuesday's news brings down the curtain on LimeWire's arm-wrestling match with Arista, Atlantic, Capitol, Elektra, Interscope, Motown, Sony, Warner, and others — and the stronger arms have won.

Originally filed in August 2006, the suit alleged that LimeWire and its principals "designed, promote, distribute, support and maintain the LimeWire software, system/network, and related services to consumers for the well-known and overarching purpose of making and distributing unlimited copies of Plaintiffs' sound recordings without paying Plaintiffs anything."

You have to admire the clarity of that accusation — but the legal wrangling that followed it led to 332 document filings by a thundering herd of lawyers.

Matters came to a head in May of this year, when the court ruled that LimeWire was responsible for inducing copyright infringement. Thus hooked and landed, LimeWire flopped about on the deck of the legal system for a hundred or so more document filings, but finally expired this Tuesday.

Except — to paraphase a famous Python sketch — it's not dead yet.

"We are excited about the future," Searle contends in his statement. "The injunction applies only to the LimeWire product. Our company remains open for business."

Exactly what that business might be is anyone's guess, but Searle continues: "Our team of technologists and music enthusiasts are [sic] creating a completely new music service that puts you back at the center of your digital music experience. We'll be sharing more details about our new service and look forward to bringing it to you in the future."

Might there be a US-based Spotify clone in the works? ®

Bootnote

Conspiracy theorist alert!

a. Last Thursday, Apple revealed that it will deprecate Java in Mac OS X.
2. The LimeWire client is one of the rare desktop apps that require Java.
iii. On Tuesday, LimeWire's client disappeared from sight.

Coincidence?

Well, yes, actually — but here at The Reg, we continually strive to bring you The Apple Angle™.

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