Sunday, May 16, 2010

US judge kills LimeWire, used by 60% of music pirates

A few days ago, a US district court judge ruled against LimeWire, effectively forcing the company to fold its extremely popular filesharing product:

While Wood's decision won't come close to killing online piracy--there's still BitTorrent and plenty of other ways to share files--she likely has scuttled a peer-to-peer service used by nearly 60 percent of the people who download songs. She also may have ushered out the era of large, well-funded file-sharing services, at least the kind that help distribute mostly copyright-infringing content. By making Gorton personally liable for damages, Wood served notice that operating these kinds of businesses is now a very risky financial endeavor. If the RIAA gets its way, Gorton, Lime Wire, and Lime Group will collectively be responsible for paying damages of $450 million.

BitTorrent is still the major player in the filesharing game, with the protocol carrying about half of all internet data. It's harder to use than LimeWire and other standalone filesharing applications (especially to download individual songs), but it's possible that the death of LimeWire will spur either easier-to-use BT clients, or broader consumer knowledge about how to use BitTorrent as is. And once consumers learn to use BitTorrent to download albums, it's only a short step to video piracy, BitTorrent's niche, which has the potential to be much more disruptive.

No comments: