PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) network aggregator Limewire has decided to pull the plug on its filesharing client to comply with a court injunction.
Lime Company, the firm that develops and maintains the Limewire client software, said that as of today it is "required to stop distribution and support of LimeWire". Its software allowed users to search for content on Bittorrent and Gnutella, and not surprisingly, the big media mafiaa had been waging a litigation war against its parent company for some time.
Last year the firm was hammered by a US District Court judge, who said that Limewire users "commit a substantial amount of copyright infringement" and that the software "enables infringement for the success of its business". After such a ruling Limewire's capitulation was inevitable.
The problem for the big media cartels is that although they might have been able to shut down Limewire, the networks it searched for content still exist. While Bittorrent receives all the media attention, Gnutella represents a bigger technological problem, as it is a truely decentralised network working on a 'gossipy' protocol, meaning that it can in theory operate perfectly well without any central servers.
Although Limewire was a popular starting point for many to obtain content from those underlying networks, the demise of the company that made the software is unlikely to lead to a long term decline in the filesharing of media content over P2P networks.
It's highly likely that something similar will appear soon, after all having over a million users is not to be taken lightly. Limewire had a good run, but after a decade its business model has finally turned sour. µ