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R.I.P. Limewire

on October 27, 2010, 11:15am

Okay, okay. You’ve probably been using BitTorrent for years, and your younger siblings surely don’t even know what a “Limewire” is, but lets just take a second and have an official moment of silence for the now officially dead peer-to-peer file sharing service that allowed you to be the first of your friends to have every one of Britney Spears’ albums before they even hit the shelves.

The NZ Herald has reported that (just like the Walkman), LimeWire is to be no more. U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood ordered the closure of the decade old service yesterday morning, and anyone who visits Limewire.com is now greeted with this message:

LEGAL NOTICE: 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.

Lime Wire LLC – the company that developed the software – has been the subject of a four-year-old lawsuit brought on by 13 different record companies (Arista, Sony, Universal, Virgin, to name a few), and yesterday’s ruling prompted CEO George Searle to take to the company blog and say that his team is, naturally, very disappointed by the news, but looking forward to the future.

He mentioned that the injunction only applies to the Lime Wire product and emphasized that his company “remains open for business.” Apparently they’ve got something new up their sleeves. “It’s a sad occasion for our team, and for you,” he said, “[but] our team of technologists and music enthusiasts is creating a completely new music service that puts you back at the center of your digital music experience.” While he didn’t expound on whether it was the cloud-based music “ecosystem” we reported on in June, Searle did say that his company is 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.”

Still, at the end of the day, no one really wins, and the issue of piracy will always be a big deal. You’re still going to steal albums, and the RIAA may still try to sue you for every last kernel of cereal in your only box of Cap’n Crunch. So, R.I.P. LimeWire. You won’t be missed, and we’ll move on just fine without you.

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