LimeWire has been closed, but where will its users go next?

By SpiderGroup

30 Oct 2010


First Kazaa and now the death of probably one of the most common file sharing peer-2-peer software – “LimeWire” has now gone to dust. Killed by the US courts after a ‘four-year’ battle with the Recording Industry Association of America, its legal rivals are beginning to voice hope.

I think we’re all not strange to having the often download, and it happens to the best of us. We have seen in the UK, a very large record label “Ministry of Sound” take British Telecom to court requesting 2,000 customer records to proceed with legal actions against them.

When Kazaa first went down, it gave users the option to pay for music or simply look elsewhere – and to be honest, that’s what people did. The shut down of peer-2-peer software LimeWire is going to be a ‘mere inconvenience for file sharers’. The tens of millions of users would simply pick up and take their downloads elsewhere, this couldn’t be simpler for them.

Steve Purdham, the CEO of UK music streaming site We7, who argues that those accustomed to downloading copyrighted content must be educated into the benefits of the lawful alternatives.

“It’s a huge positive for the music industry that LimeWire has been shut down,” he said. “But what we don’t want is for the site’s users to simply move on to the next illegal peer-to-peer sharing site that grabs their attention.”

Mark Mulligan, a music analyst Forrester Research says it’s not that straightforward. “It’s not about the technology, it’s a paradigm shift – the reason they file share is not because they love the way the technology works, it’s because it’s easily accessible content which is free,”

But what the analysts aren’t taking into account, Purdham reckons, is the plague of viruses and malware often passed around peer-to-peer file sharers. With legit streaming services, that danger is taken away and users have more peace of mind with the subscribed service such as Spotify.

Mulligan went on to say – “Consumers need to be more aware of the viable and legal options available and with piracy still rife, there is clearly still a level of education to be had,” he said. “The massive growth of LimeWire demonstrated the demand and desire of people wanting to consume music digitally. Now that great legal services are in abundance such as We7, and Pandora, consumers don’t need to run the risk of downloading from illegal file sharing sites.”

“LimeWire had its day; there is no longer justification for a service which doesn’t respect artist rights in today’s world.”

“To keep generating the music we love, artists need to be paid. People want to support the music they care about … The issue of piracy is one created by the music industry itself. To solve it, we need to stop demonising consumers and create a sustainable business model that can work for everyone.”

According to the Guardian Online, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is set to suffer an apparent retribution attack from online activates anonymous – and this isn’t even the first time this has happened.

Ministry of Sound’s CEO made a pretty simply analogy about downloading and put it into context with real life –

“If I ran a shop and someone came into the shop and started stealing things off the shelves, should I just allow that to happen? – We can’t afford to have our business and artists stolen from us any more and we have to take some action.”

So, we are now starting to see more of a clamp down on downloads and all it really does is scare people into not downloading. Are you a user of peer-2-peer, does it scare you this clamp down from officials? Have you suddenly moved from peer-2-peer to a subscribed service in guilt into what you’ve downloaded? Whatever your story is, we would love to hear from you – so pop a comment below.

– via Guardian Online

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