By now, many of you have read reports about illegal file-sharing service LimeWire shutting down due to an injunction ordered by a federal court. Individuals with questions about their LimeWire service should direct their questions to LimeWire. As you may know, LimeWire was found liable last summer for copyright infringement for inducing its users to illegally trade staggering amounts of copyrighted music recordings on its network.
The operators of LimeWire continue to tout how “proud” they are of their service. To be clear, for the better part of the last decade, LimeWire and its operators have violated the law, and in doing so, enriched themselves immensely. In January, the court will conduct a trial to determine the appropriate level of damages.
It’s also worth noting: LimeWire was responsible for millions in lost sales to countless up-and-coming artists, those who already grace our earphones, and big and small music labels alike. Services that flout the law do not deserve a place in today’s music marketplace where hundreds of existing, accessible, innovative legal sites offer users their favorite music at affordable prices – sometimes even free. There are now more than 11 million legal tracks online and more than 400 licensed music services today. A few of these legal sites can be found on our website or on the music community website Music United, not to mention audio or video streaming sites like Pandora, MOG, Vevo and Rdio. In order for the legitimate marketplace to thrive, there needs to be a level playing field where illegal sites are held accountable and do not suffocate innovative, legal services whose business plans include compensating creators for their music. That’s why the recent injunction represents a significant step in the bright future of digital music.
For those LimeWire users affected by the shut down, we encourage you to consider the many easy-to-use legitimate options available in the marketplace. Not only do you help contribute to the investment in the next crop of talented artists, you stay on the right side of the law and might also save your computer from virus or spyware.