Following a four-year legal battle against the record industries, LimeWire was officially shut down last month. LimeWire, like many music-sharing programs before it, was charged with “massive scale of infringement” because it purposely allowed users to share millions of unauthorized music tracks and movie clips.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of New York issued a permanent injunction stating that LimeWire must disable the “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality” of its Web site.
With the growing amount of people downloading music for free and the problems it has caused, authorities have decided to finally try to tackle this issue.
However, what we need to understand is that this injunction follows the trend of the demise of other popular peer-to-peer sites such as Napster, Kazaa and Grokster. But no matter what authorities do to try and prevent pirated content from floating illegally on the Web, the trend of stealing music will continue.
The loss of LimeWire does not mean the Internet is evolving towards a safer Web. Instead, it means that people will simply switch to a different method in order to get their music. Similar to past P2P sites, LimeWire had its glory days.
Additionally, shutting it down does not mean that pirated content will be eradicated from the Internet for good. Instead, more sites will inevitably develop to take its place, and the pattern will persist.
As we all know, P2P sites are lucky if they stay online for more than a year, but eventually these sites will end up being shut down.
Due to the sudden disappearance of LimeWire, some students have not only been surprised, but also disappointed. The question commonly asked is, “where will I get my music from now?” But with technology a step ahead, we are still capable of downloading music from YouTube and listening to music sites such as Pandora.
We all are aware that sharing pirated content is illegal and immoral, but that does not stop us from doing it. At this point in time, we don’t have all the money in the world to spend on music and most agree that it’s better and easier to get it for free.
So, to the 50 million sad users of LimeWire: No need to mourn over LimeWire’s demise. Another P2P site is bound to appear.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.