The popular file sharing program, Limewire, was issued a permanent injunction on October 26, 2010 by Judge Wood of the Southern District of New York to cease “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading…and/or all functionality” of the software. In May, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the music industry’s (the RIAA and thirteen record labels’ claims that the Lime Group (parent company of Lime Wire), the Lime Wire Software, and Mark Gorton (founder) committed and induced copyright infringement, and engaged in unfair competition.
Limewire quickly emerged as a favorite among those using peer-to-peer file sharing software, particularly teenagers and university students. So what happens now? Do Limewire users press on in their search for free music files, or will they begin to get their music legally? Probably not, as it has been reported that the alternative file sharing programs in cyberspace have seen an enormous increase in downloads. It is quite likely that as long as alternatives to Limewire exist, that peer-to-peer software users will continue to get around paying for music and music piracy will continue until the final injunction is issued and the last peer-to-peer or bit torrent program is shut down.
So why don’t people want to pay for music? It could just be a matter of education or habit – people simply may not realize the amount of legal (and inexpensive) ways to access music that exist. For example, Internet radio websites such as Pandora offer free music streaming; others such as Rhapsody or Rdio offer a virtually unlimited catalogue of music for listen on your computer, smart phone of your choice, or mp3 player for a small membership fee. In addition, an increasing number of artists are allowing fans to name their price to purchase albums on their websites. Hopefully the demise of yet another peer-to-peer file sharing program will encourage those who download pirated music to start using legitimate music services.