LimeWire has been ordered to immediately stop distributing and supporting its software. U.S District Judge Kimba Wood handed down a 17-page permanent injunction today, and an announcement on the Limewire site shutters the site and the client no longer functions.In a major victory for record labels and a major bummer for P2P file-sharers, the Gnutella-based download client
Judge Wood found earlier this year that Limewire had knowingly participated in copyright infringement "on a massive scale" after the RIAA, along with several major record labels, brought suit against the company. And while the RIAA wanted the site shut down then, Limewire was given a reprieve to build a new copyright-friendly technology.
Once the world's most installed file-sharing application, LimeWire has had to shut off its entire operation according to today's injunction, including all searches, uploading and downloading. And while the company has indicated it plans to move forward with an alternative music-subscription service, this will require a major rewriting of its code - and potentially licensing arrangements with the record labels that have long blamed peer-to-peer services like LimeWire for major revenue losses.
The courts will next decide how much LimeWire will be assessed for the damages it has caused the record industry.
While shutting down LimeWire may be a blow to file-sharers, it seems likely that many LimeWire members will move to a new client rather than ceasing sharing altogether.