Kazaa Down, Limewire Next?

Dennis Faas's picture

The market for free music is thinning faster than a middle-aged hairline. Yeah, bad joke, but for the owners of Kazaa -- and now Limewire -- there is very little to laugh about these days.

Just a week after big guns in the music industry forced (former) peer-to-peer file sharing giant Kazaa to pay up $100 million and go legal, it appears that the conglomeration is now ready to feast on the ultra-popular Limewire.

Hot on the heels of the legal deconstruction of Kazaa, Sony BMG, EMI, Universal Music, and Warner Music Group brought the war to Lime Wire LLC on Friday. In partnership with the MPAA, RIAA, and International Federation of Phonographic (yes, "Phonographic") Industries the group alleges that Lime Wire LLC facilitates illegal sharing of music and has made no significant attempt to prevent this activity through its peer-to-peer programming. (Source: arstechnica.com)

For those of you unaware of Limewire, it, like Kazaa, offers users the ability to download music for free. Sure, it kindly asks free subscribers to not download anything they don't already own, but aside from a few reminders, this rarely impedes users from doing just that.

As of a report late last year, Limewire had a community of 2 million, larger than the peak memberships of similar programs Napster and WinMX. Many illegal downloaders frustrated with the spyware and security risks associated with Kazaa have flocked to Limewire and its comparitively safe system. (Source: slyck.com)

Considering Limewire's size and the fact that it holds many of the former followers of Kazaa and even Napster, expect the music industry to be most merciless in trying to bring down the still-popular program.

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