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Looks Like the End of the Line For LimeWire 277

Posted by timothy
from the all-squeezed-out dept.
tekgoblin writes with news that a federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against LimeWire for copyright infringement and unfair competition. A notice on the LimeWire home page says "THIS IS AN OFFICIAL NOTICE THAT LIMEWIRE IS UNDER A COURT-ORDERED INJUNCTION TO STOP DISTRIBUTING AND SUPPORTING ITS FILE-SHARING SOFTWARE. DOWNLOADING OR SHARING COPYRIGHTED CONTENT WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION IS ILLEGAL." An anonymous reader points to coverage at CNET, too.
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Looks Like the End of the Line For LimeWire

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  • Easy fix... (Score:2, Informative)

    by vistapwns (1103935)
    www.emule-project.com - open source, so it can't be shut down. I guess the servers could be shut down, but it also operates with a distributed peer2peer network as back up. I've been using it for years, it has almost everything.
    • Re:Easy fix... (Score:5, Informative)

      by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:46PM (#34031834) Homepage

      The base LimeWire client is also open source, released under the GPL.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by cbiltcliffe (186293)

        It's also still available from limewire.com

        I'll leave it up to you to figure out how to get it. :)

    • Re:Easy fix... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@nOSPam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:27PM (#34032372) Homepage Journal

      Even easier fix - if a service is "Common Carrier", it is not responsible for the content on it. That is why phone services can't be sued if someone does something illegal over them, same with the post office. (Which is one big reason it's Bad Juju for ISPs to differentiate between users. If they aren't Common Carrier, they ARE liable for content. Same as newspapers or magazines are, even if the author of an article isn't a member of the staff. They're not Common Carriers, they select. Slashdot isn't liable for comments again because they're Common Carrier - they're not selecting who can post and everyone plays by the same rules - even though in many ways they look like a newspaper.)

      In the Old Days, when people used Archie to find files, the authors of FTP and Archie weren't liable for a damn thing. Common Carriers. LimeWire is perceived (right or wrong) as not a Common Carrier. Fix that perception (if necessary by fixing the code) and the law will protect it in every country that recognizes the notion. (Which is most of them, US included.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jimmy King (828214)

        Perhaps I've misunderstood, but to be protected as a common carrier, don't you have to have the government classify you as one? I don't think you get to just wake up one day and say "hey, I'm a common carrier, you can't touch me! na na na na na!" once the court/feds/whoever decide they don't like what you're doing

        This suggests that there are requirements for being considered a telecom common carrier including reports that have to be filed yearly, etc. - http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/filing.html [fcc.gov]

        I know a lot of we

      • Re:Easy fix... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kirijini (214824) <kirijiniNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:18PM (#34034380)

        Slashdot isn't liable for comments again because they're Common Carrier - they're not selecting who can post and everyone plays by the same rules...

        No.

        Slashdot isn't liable for certain kinds of "illegal" material (namely, defamation - i.e., libel) because of section 230 of the Telecom Act of '96 [wikipedia.org]. Basically, because it is a "provider of an interactive computer service," and because comments and even stories are provided by "another information content provider" (i.e., users like you and me), Slashdot is immune from any liability it would normally have for being the publisher or speaker of "illegal speech" (like defamation, but potentially also intrusions on privacy and the like).

        Section 230 *does not* provide immunity for copyright infringement - instead, the DMCA's notice and take-down system gives Slashdot immunity so long as it promptly takes down infringing material after being served notice by the copyright owner. A common carrier, however, would (I think) be immune to liability for copyright infringement even with notice that a user was using its service to infringe copyrights.

        Both of those safe harbors (230 and the DMCA notice and take-down) look a lot like the protections normally given to common carriers - so it's understandable that you might think that that's what they are. But its not the case. Slashdot cannot be a common carrier because it does more than "carry." It chooses what stories to publish on its website, and that kind of discretion means that it doesn't provide "common" access to its service. Further, as another poster points out, common carrier status has to be provided by law; one doesn't qualify for common carrier protections just by adhering to a certain kind of business practice.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      www.emule-project.com - open source, so it can't be shut down.

      The fact that it's open source has nothing to do with it.

  • Rise (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    a thousand more to take its place.

  • Talk about a blast from the past.

    • by tehniobium (1042240) <lukas@imf. a u .dk> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:03PM (#34032076)
      Actually people should continue making shitty file sharing services and basing them in the US. That way the *IAA's of this world can feel like they're winning even as they are completely unable to do anything about torrent.

      ...And while you're at it, make those programs easier to use than torrent, so all the newbies make them popular and it seems like BIG NEWS when one gets whacked on the head with a hammer!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually people should continue making shitty file sharing services and basing them in the US. That way the *IAA's of this world can feel like they're winning even as they are completely unable to do anything about torrent.

        The *IAA's don't want to win. Winning would mean a marginal increase in new sales (from the downloaders who actually can afford the stuff they download), but a sharp decrease in profits from extremely punitive lawsuits. Their optimal move is to continue playing both ends of the game (dues from artists paying essentially protection fees and settlements/damages from lawsuits). All they really have to do is continue lobbying enough to keep the status quo and drown out any artists that attempt to call them out.

        • profits from extremely punitive lawsuits.

          Would you believe that they actually [blogspot.com] lose [techdirt.com] money [arstechnica.com] on that shit? Lawyers aren't cheap, especially evil lawyers (even though they make up most of the supply).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mcgrew (92797) *

          Winning would mean a marginal increase in new sales

          That's a fallacy. Music pirates have been shown in study after study to spend more on music than non-pirates.

          It has never once been shown by any reputable research that anybody ever lost a cent to piracy.

          The RIAA's war against file sharing isn't a war against pirates, it's a war against indies (their competetion), who use the internet to get their works in your ears. The RIAA has a monopoly on radio airplay, the indies don't.

    • yeah... really

      And with the advent of magnet links, no central tracker is needed, meaning no one but the search sites to sue.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by icebraining (1313345)

        And the search sites can very well be hidden onion services... just add a Tor client to popular torrent clients and a button to launch the browser configured to use the Tor proxy, and anyone will be able to use it.

  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:37PM (#34031716) Homepage

    Ahh Limewire! That takes me back... to the last virus I had (2003?).

    I'm surprised its lasted this long frankly.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Indeed, I thought that pretty much everybody that was into that sort of thing had already switched over to torrents.
      • Limewire was pretty easy to use, torrents seem quite hard to figure out for a lot of people (probably not slashdot readers).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rockoon (1252108)
          The advantage of P2P's like Limewire was that it did not share crappy_commercial_music.mp3 while you were downloading crappy_commercial_music.mp3, and as such you could not be fingered for the crime of distributing crappy_commercial_music.mp3 since you were in fact not distributing it.
          • Astraweb.com

            Subscribe.... Download at blazing speeds... no sharing

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by geekmux (1040042)

            The advantage of P2P's like Limewire was that it did not share crappy_commercial_music.mp3 while you were downloading crappy_commercial_music.mp3, and as such you could not be fingered for the crime of distributing crappy_commercial_music.mp3 since you were in fact not distributing it.

            Uhhh...yeah, and clearly your "logic" with "one-way" downloading of illegal content somehow saved them from a legal injunction...

            • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @10:04PM (#34034020)

              The advantage of P2P's like Limewire was that it did not share crappy_commercial_music.mp3 while you were downloading crappy_commercial_music.mp3, and as such you could not be fingered for the crime of distributing crappy_commercial_music.mp3 since you were in fact not distributing it.

              Uhhh...yeah, and clearly your "logic" with "one-way" downloading of illegal content somehow saved them from a legal injunction...

              You're confused. The GP wasn't talking about why Limewire got screwed by the courts, that was an entirely different matter. He is, in fact, talking about the Limewire user base, and there he is correct, at least for those users with a functioning cerebral cortex. The bulk of RIAA lawsuits were for people that stupidly didn't turn off file sharing on their various Gnutella clients (Limewire being only one of many) and "helpful" clients that automatically shared everything they downloaded, thereby making targets out of their users. Downloading isn't where the illegality came it: it was the illegal distribution of copyright materials.

  • Good Riddance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:39PM (#34031738)
    I'm pretty sure that the closure of limewire will cause the amount of malware in the wild to drop dramatically.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jnpcl (1929302)
      .. but where am I going to get my Anna Kournikova XXX Screensavers?!
    • by Meshach (578918)

      I'm pretty sure that the closure of limewire will cause the amount of malware in the wild to drop dramatically.

      Reminds me of Kazaa and Kazaa Lite. They are not closed now but are subscription services. Far off from their early days when they were a hotbed of virus and trojans.

    • by hweimer (709734)

      I'm pretty sure that the closure of limewire will cause the amount of malware in the wild to drop dramatically.

      You mean, because the people wanting to download it will now have to go to "alternative" sites?

  • Next you're going to tell me KaZaA hasn't shut down either.

  • by guyminuslife (1349809) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:42PM (#34031788)

    If only there were some way for people who had Limewire to share the executable.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      You could try connecting to Limew--d'oh!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Haedrian (1676506)
      Far as I know, if you take down the Limewire servers, the entire thing collapses. It isn't distributed like a torrernt network, and I'm pretty sure there's no peer discovery either.
      • Yeah, you might be able to take it down, but banning distribution of the executable is moronic.

      • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:51PM (#34031906) Homepage

        Gnutella (the protocol LimeWire uses) is decentralized, but you have to "bootstrap" the client to find your first few peers. I believe LimeWire LLC operates servers to facilitate this, but it could be done any number of ways. If you had a friend whom you knew was always on LimeWire and had a static IP, you could connect to him. The client could also cache the addresses of nodes that had worked in the past, and try them. I don't know exactly how LimeWire does it, but it seems to me LimeWire's failing is that by insinuating itself between its users and the network (for the purposes of operating a business), it makes itself the single point of failure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by athakur999 (44340)

        Peer discovery is the very essence of the Gnutella protocol used by Gnutella. The Limewire client probably uses Limewire's servers to get an initial list of peers to connect to but beyond that, they shouldn't be needed. There are alternative methods to do this initial peer discovery as well so even if you take away Limewire's servers, things should still work fine, it just may take longer for your client to discover a decent amount of peers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Yeah. There are plenty of torrents [thepiratebay.org] available! ;)

  • by loafula (1080631) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:46PM (#34031838)
    That I prefer to use Frostwire.
  • Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rix (54095) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:51PM (#34031916)

    Piracy is solved forever.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SomeJoel (1061138)
      It's about time. Those Somalians with AK-47s can release the hostages now. Ugly business, piracy - ships destroyed, sailors killed, lives ruined. I'm glad the government is finally doing something about protecting shipping lanes. Apparently LimeWire is some sort of service that these pirates use to track ships or something.
    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      Good riddance. Limewire has been a cesspool for years. Nothing but bogus files, many of which are infested with malware. I just cleaned out an acquaintances computer that was rooted due to downloading phony music videos that were supposed to be WMV files. I told him I had to uninstall Limewire to prevent future infections (he is not a savvy computer user at all).

  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:01PM (#34032048)
    Can someone tell the judge to not use so many caps? It's like YELLING!
  • Frostwire? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by supersloshy (1273442) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:03PM (#34032074)

    Frostwire's still up. http://www.frostwire.com/ [frostwire.com]. Limewire != Gnutella, which is decentralized and thus impossible to shut down completely.

    On a related note, I can't believe how stupid this ruling is. It's a Gnutella client! That's it! Limewire is responsible for nothing; it's the illegal distributors of copyrighted works, which LimeWire isn't, that are legally responsible for any of this. What's next, making HTTP/FTP/BitTorrent/the Internet illegal because it "encourages illegal file-sharing"? Give me a break! Some of the best legal to download music I've found was promoted by Frostwire! The problem isn't file-sharing, obviously, but an outdated business model and a resistance to change.

    • Re:Frostwire? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:34PM (#34032456) Journal

      On a related note, I can't believe how stupid this ruling is. It's a Gnutella client! That's it! Limewire is responsible for nothing; it's the illegal distributors of copyrighted works, which LimeWire isn't, that are legally responsible for any of this.

      Part of what got Limewire shut down was their marketing.
      Ontop of everything else they put on their website, they bought keywords like kazaa, morpheus, and napster.
      Limewire did this to themselves in their rush to fill the void left by previous filesharing programs.

    • by gknoy (899301)

      What's next, making HTTP/FTP/BitTorrent/the Internet illegal because it "encourages illegal file-sharing"?

      If the RIAA/MPAA and their friends could figure out how to do it, they would. They've been trying for quite some time (witness, ACTA).

  • Ignorance (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cosm (1072588) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3msoceht>> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:08PM (#34032140)
    Either I am ignorant, or the judge is.

    DOWNLOADING OR SHARING COPYRIGHTED CONTENT WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION IS ILLEGAL.

    Yes, that is correct. But how can they shut down LimeWire through the vicarious actions of its users? It is the user's who are responsible. They share the data. Unless LimeWire themselves is hosting the copyrighted bits, what are they doing wrong? If they provide some helper service for getting nodes connected, perhaps that is the 'gotcha'. But even then, if they are just managing connections, they still are not hosting the data (AFAIK).

    Should we shutdown chat clients and protocols because they allow people to disseminate links to copyright infringed data?
    Should we shutdown production of all copy machines because they could be used to infringe copyright?
    Should we ban hard-drives because they could be used to store copy-righted data?
    Should we ban the human-brain because it could retain the contents of a copyrighted document?

    Re. Tard. Ed.

    Also, does the injunction necessitate YELLING? I know the out-moded channels are scared and all, but that is just icing on the cake.

    • But how can they shut down LimeWire through the vicarious actions of its users? It is the user's who are responsible.

      Under the law, the fact that A committed and is responsible for action X does not imply that B is not also responsible.

      Unless LimeWire themselves is hosting the copyrighted bits, what are they doing wrong?

      As found by the court, they had profited by knowingly fostering and enabling copyright infringement.

      • by cosm (1072588)

        As found by the court, they had profited by knowingly fostering and enabling copyright infringement.

        By that logic, all IRC channels and usage should be banned because botnet proprietors profit from using them to control their hordes.

        Get real.

      • by cosm (1072588)

        Under the law, the fact that A committed and is responsible for action X does not imply that B is not also responsible.

        Nor does it imply that B is responsible! If you use Slashdot as a forum for coordinating criminal activity, is Slashdot responsible? It is an easy way out to blame the tools, but it is the people who use the tools that are responsible. Should gasoline be banned because gasoline manufactures knowingly foster and enable the production of a chemical that could be used for illegal things? Hell no.

        A chooses to commit action X.
        Action X is illegal.
        -----
        A is responsible for committing illegal action X.

        And

    • I'm sure the judge realizes the ruling makes no sense and is illegal by Constitutional standards. But people exchanging others' work is intolerable, so a little judicial activism is called for. Practicality is far more important when creating law than justice or logic.
  • Didn't you read the lameness filter? Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
  • by DodgeRules (854165) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:24PM (#34032350)

    From the cnet article:

    "RIAA lawyers have told the judge that LimeWire costs the record labels about $500 million in lost music sales every month."

    So with LimeWire shut down, will record sales increase by $500 million every month? Hopefully they will use current sales figures including the 2 months AFTER the shutdown to calculate the lost sales prior to the shutdown and not just take the RIAA lawyers word for it. My guess is they will see little, if any, sales difference after the shutdown.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Haedrian (1676506)
      $500 million per month works out to be 6.5 billion per year.

      I'm amazed that we actually have record companies around with giant losses like these. Won't someone think of the children?

      This post brought to you by the foundation for sarcastic replies.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by BlueKitties (1541613)
        I'm sure -- upon hearing these huge damages record labels have had -- the judge will promptly fine everyone involved infinity billion dollars.
    • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7 AT kc DOT rr DOT com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:37PM (#34032502) Homepage

      That wont matter the will just shift the blame to the next target, just as they focused on Limewire after Napster, as long as there is anything to pin blame on they don't have to actually have any real data to backup their claims. I fully expect that at an upcoming awards show we will see some digital holdout musician like Paul McCartney touting a new pay service calling itself Limewire attempting to live off past name recognition despite a poor business model.

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      so then i assume the record companies will update their tax information to reflect the additional half a billion in income each month?
    • My guess is they will see little, if any, sales difference after the shutdown.

      Well that's where you'd be wrong. My bet is on sales going down now that less people will be exposed to new music. Then within a few weeks it will climb back up as friends learn from friends about this new thing called...

  • by BlueKitties (1541613) <bluekitties616@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:43PM (#34032580)
    The media companies have stood up against rampant piracy to protect artistic expression and innovation! This is truly a victory for The American People.
  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by pdxp (1213906) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:51PM (#34032656)
    It's the end of the lime for them alright, and it's sad to see such a historic piece of software going out on a such a sour note.

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