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LimeWire Shuts Down Peer-to-Peer Software, RIAA Rejoices

sad limewireCash-strapped record labels are undoubtedly rejoicing today, now that LimeWire has officially shut down its peer-to-peer filesharing client. As All Things Digital explains, the move comes in response to a federal court injunction that requires the company to shut down "the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality" of its core software. Essentially, this means that LimeWire will no longer offer downloads of its software, and will disable all software that's already been distributed.

LimeWire CEO George Searle is understandably crestfallen about the decision, but assures LimeWire's customers that the company is currently working on a new (and totally legal) music service, due out later this month. "We remain deeply committed to working with the music industry, and making the act of loving music more fulfilling for everyone – including artists, songwriters, publishers, labels, and of course music fans," reads Searle's blog post on Lime Company's website. "Our team of technologists and music enthusiasts are creating a completely new music service that puts you back at the center of your digital music experience."

The new service's success, however, will largely depend upon the cooperation of major music labels. And for now, at least, the recording industry doesn't seem very open to collaboration. Prior to today's announcement, Limewire and the RIAA spent weeks trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, but to no avail. In January, the two parties will once again head to court, where a judge will determine how much LimeWire must pay to compensate for what the RIAA calls "the billions and billions of illegal downloads" that its software facilitated.

But if LimeWire's next service really is "legal," that means it probably won't be free. Regardless of whether or not the music industry cooperates, then, many consumers may have a hard time adjusting to a software that, until today, was conveniently open.

Tags: compensation, court, filesharing, limewire, money, music, p2p, P2pLawsuit, piracy, riaa, RiaaLawsuit, top