Weird Science – R.I.P. Limewire (2001-2010)

May 18, 2010

Category: Weird Science

Shout out to Ms Colorado, Jessica Hartman — she did her best to get Geeked Up during last Sunday night’s Miss USA competition.  She was asked to comment about the privacy issues facing the social network Facebook.

Facebook has been dealing with a lot of bad press and uproar from users who are opposed to its increasingly more complicated privacy settings.  Miss Hartman did her best to give a brief and insightful answer and well… to keep things positive… let’s just give her an A for effort. =)

Click below to listen:

[Transcription]

U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood wasn’t so lenient with peer-to-peer service Limewire.  Judge Wood… ruled against LimeWire and its creator, Mark Gorton, last week, stating that they committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition and induced others to commit copyright infringement.

The suit was been brought by the RIAA a coalition of the nation’s largest record companies in 2006.  The ruling may disrupt a peer-to-peer service used by nearly 60 percent of the people who download songs.

Lime Wire has more than 50 million unique monthly users — and between its free peer-to-peer software and its LimeWire Pro premium version its annual revenue grew from $6 million in 2004 to $20 million in 2006.

For a decade now, file-sharing companies have promised to help label execs make money and for years music execs have sat on the sidelines as piracy has gone up and music sales have gone down. This ruling may relegate Limewire to that pirate-service burial ground in the cloud to join the like’s of Napster, Scour, Audiogalaxy, Aimster, Kazaa, Morpheus, and Grokster.

Props to LimeWire CEO Mark Gorton though… he founded LimeWire using the seed money from his financial firm Lime Brokerage LLC… When Gorton was initially sued he countersued in 2006 calling the RIAA “an illegal cartel that conspires to destroy any distribution channel that the recording industry doesn’t control.”

The ruling may make him the last of a dying breed… By making Gorton personally liable for damages, the Judge 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 the company behind Limewire will collectively be responsible for paying damages of $450 million.