Comments:Filesharing software distributor LimeWire ordered to close by court
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Yes, they do. Programmes like eMule, Bearshare, Ares and things like them are still extremely popular, since they can search on a topic, unlike BitTorrent, which works by specific files and uses external search agents to find what you're after. It's a shame that LimeWire has been hit like this, but unfortunately I believe that this spells the "Beginning of the end" for existing P2P software. However, as LimeWire was based on an open-source project, Gnutella, I'm sure other agents will spring up quite quickly. We'll have to see where this goes, won't we?
Yup. I've also see a few attempts to use P2P software for legal purposes (especially Vuze (Azureus)), but most of them have fallen through over time. The few successful legal uses of P2P seem to rely on proprietary reskins of open source clients that only distribute the specific software that the company in question makes. IE, MMOG client distribution via P2P. The clients are *huge* (most new ones are at least 5 gigs, and range up to 60 gigs), so anything that saves the companies money on bandwidth is good for them.
I seem to recall a website called Napster that allowed people to download music for free getting shut down. Now you have to pay to use Napster but people can still download music for free. Now they have shut down LimeWire, but I guarantee you that people will still find a way to download music. Someone once said "As technology advances, so does the technology to fool it." As long as there are tech-savvy people who don't want to pay for music, they will find a way to get it for free. I can understand both sides of the debate, but they're trying to stop something that they can't control. It is, quite simply, an exercise in futility.
The thing is, LimeWire LLC is a for-profit company. While there was a "free" version in addition to a paid Pro version, the costs of maintaining the free version were offset by software bundling and advertising (as well as being based off of an open-source project).
It's like the difference between copying DVDs for your friends vs. copying them to sell bootlegs. If you're just freely handing them out to friends your chances of getting caught are slim, but if you're going around selling them you're going to attract attention. While LimeWire wasn't selling the files, they were profiting from the technology which enabled the file sharing, thus painting a target on their back.
Alternative and free Gnutella/BitTorrent clients, on the other hand, use the same technology (often incorporating some of LimeWire Pro's features, freely) but are usually built around an index of open-source or indy projects that are legal to download. The software can still be used for infringement, but the developers should be able to avoid claims of inducement and are probably more trouble than it's worth to sue.
It looks like shutting down LimeWire was just the first step and the RIAA is preparing to seek damages, which I think is what they were really after.