Following the court decision that found LimeWire’s creators liable for distributing illegal content, the Recording Industry Association of America has now asked the courts to shut down the file sharing service, claiming that the illegal sharing has been continuing and it shows no signs of stopping. If the judge agrees, LimeWire’s service would shut down, the software would not be available to download, and it could not advertise. It could return only if it removed all the copyrighted materials shared through the service, and a new search engine was implemented.
If the service is forced to close, it would likely spell the end for the file sharing service, which has been in a nearly perpetual legal battle with the RIAA for years. Last month U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ruled in a summary judgement that founder Mark Gordon and LimeWire committed copyright infringement, induced copyright infringement and engaged in unfair competition. Now the RIAA is again going before Wood again to ask for a ruling to stop LimeWire’s service, a move that would all but guarantee the end of the peer-to-peer software.
“It is patently obvious that the rampant illegal conduct that Lime Wire intentionally induced, and for which it has been adjudged liable, will continue uninterrupted day after day unless and until the Court issues an injunction to rein in this massive infringing operation,” the RIAA’s request to the judge said.
Regardless of Wood’s current decision, things are not looking good for the file sharing service. LimeWire is still awaiting the judgement on what the monetary damages will be from the ruling, and it is possible- even likely- that the damages levied against it would also force the company out of business, barring a successful appeal.
“We feel a permanent injunction is not the best course of action. It could hold back the creation of new digital music technologies that LimeWire is in the process of developing and does not benefit the industry as a whole…” LimeWire said in a statement to ars technica. “Moreover, we continue to remain focused on our future product, which will give users boundless music portability and compatibility. We can confirm that in our ongoing dialogues with numerous industry executives, this service has been very well received.”
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