Napster | Whatever Happened to P2P File Sharing Sites like …
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When the original peer-to-peer file sharing service launched in June 1999, few could’ve anticipated it would open a Pandora’s Box of future lawsuits and copyright cases. But the trouble for Napster didn’t really begin until the summer of 2000, when big-name artists like Metallica and Dr. Dre forced the spotlight onto the P2P service, which at its peak saw 26. 4 million active users worldwide. But an onslaught of lawsuits by the RIAA caused Napster to eventually shut down, first after an injunction in July 2001, before eventually going bankrupt in 2002 after the company was unable to pay $101 million in liabilities.
Where Are They Now?
In 2008, the rights to the brand were purchased by Best Buy. Napster currently operates as a pay-to-use streaming music service, with new music added every Tuesday.
MORE: Limewire Settles for $105 million
Whatever Happened to P2P File Sharing Sites? NapsterMorpheusKazaaBearShareLimewire
Napster – Wikipedia
NapsterDeveloper(s)Shawn Fanning Sean ParkerInitial releaseJune 1, 1999; 22 years agoFinal releaseSeptember 3, 2002; 19 years ago
Operating systemCross-platformAvailable inMultilingualTypeMedia playerWebsiteNapster is a set of three music-focused online services. It was founded in 1999 as a pioneering peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing Internet software that emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically audio songs, encoded in MP3 format. As the software became popular, the company ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement. It ceased operations and was eventually acquired by Roxio. Napster became an online music store until it was merged with Rhapsody from Best Buy on December 1, 2011.
Later, more decentralized projects followed Napster’s P2P file-sharing example, such as Gnutella, Freenet, FastTrack, and Soulseek. Some services and software, like AudioGalaxy, LimeWire, Scour, Kazaa / Grokster, Madster, and eDonkey2000, were also brought down or changed due to copyright issues.
Napster was founded by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker.  Initially, Napster was envisioned by Fanning as an independent peer-to-peer file sharing service. The service operated between June 1999 and July 2001.  Its technology allowed people to easily share their MP3 files with other participants.  Although the original service was shut down by court order, the Napster brand survived after the company’s assets were liquidated and purchased by other companies through bankruptcy proceedings. 
Although there were already networks that facilitated the distribution of files across the Internet, such as IRC, Hotline, and Usenet, Napster specialized in MP3 files of music and a user-friendly interface. At its peak the Napster service had about 80 million registered users.  Napster made it relatively easy for music enthusiasts to download copies of songs that were otherwise difficult to obtain, such as older songs, unreleased recordings, studio recordings, and songs from concert bootleg recordings. Napster paved the way for streaming media services and transformed music into a public good for a brief period of time.
High-speed networks in college dormitories became overloaded, with as much as 61% of external network traffic consisting of MP3 file transfers.  Many colleges blocked its use for this reason,  even before concerns about liability for facilitating copyright violations on campus.
Napster running under Mac OS 9 in March 2001.
The service and software program began as Windows-only. However, in 2000, Black Hole Media wrote a Macintosh client called Macster. Macster was later bought by Napster and designated the official Mac Napster client (“Napster for the Mac”), at which point the Macster name was discontinued.  Even before the acquisition of Macster, the Macintosh community had a variety of independently developed Napster clients. The most notable was the open source client called MacStar, released by Squirrel Software in early 2000, and Rapster, released by Overcaster Family in Brazil.  The release of MacStar’s source code paved the way for third-party Napster clients across all computing platforms, giving users advertisement-free music distribution options.
Heavy metal band Metallica discovered a demo of their song “I Disappear” had been circulating across the network before it was released. This led to it being played on several radio stations across the United States and alerted Metallica to the fact that their entire back catalogue of studio material was also available. On March 13, 2000, they filed a lawsuit against Napster. A month later, rapper and producer Dr. Dre, who shared a litigator and legal firm with Metallica, filed a similar lawsuit after Napster refused his written request to remove his works from its service. Separately, Metallica and Dr. Dre later delivered to Napster thousands of usernames of people who they believed were pirating their songs. In March 2001, Napster settled both suits, after being shut down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a separate lawsuit from several major record labels (see below).  In 2000, Madonna’s single “Music” was leaked out onto the web and Napster prior to its commercial release, causing widespread media coverage.  Verified Napster use peaked with 26. 4 million users worldwide in February 2001. 
In 2000, the American musical recording company A&M Records along with several other recording companies, through the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), sued Napster (A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. ) on grounds of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  Napster was faced with the following allegations from the music industry:
That its users were directly violating the plaintiffs’ copyrights.
That Napster was responsible for contributory infringement of the plaintiffs’ copyrights.
That Napster was responsible for vicarious infringement of the plaintiffs’ copyrights.
Napster lost the case in the District Court but then appealed to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Although it was clear that Napster could have commercially significant non-infringing uses, the Ninth Circuit upheld the District Court’s decision. Immediately after, the District Court commanded Napster to keep track of the activities of its network and to restrict access to infringing material when informed of that material’s location. Napster wasn’t able to comply and thus had to close down its service in July 2001. In 2002, Napster announced that it had filed for bankruptcy and sold its assets to a third party.  In a 2018 Rolling Stone article, Kirk Hammett of Metallica upheld the band’s opinion that suing Napster was the “right” thing to do. 
Napster peaked in February 2001.
Along with the accusations that Napster was hurting the sales of the record industry, there were those who felt just the opposite, that file trading on Napster stimulated, rather than hurt, sales. Some evidence may have come in July 2000 when tracks from English rock band Radiohead’s album Kid A found their way to Napster three months before the album’s release. Unlike Madonna, Dr. Dre or Metallica, Radiohead had never hit the top 20 in the US. Furthermore, Kid A was an album without any singles released, and received relatively little radio airplay. By the time of the album’s release, the album was estimated to have been downloaded for free by millions of people worldwide, and in October 2000 Kid A captured the number one spot on the Billboard 200 sales chart in its debut week. According to Richard Menta of MP3 Newswire,  the effect of Napster in this instance was isolated from other elements that could be credited for driving sales, and the album’s unexpected success suggested that Napster was a good promotional tool for music.
Since 2000, many musical artists, particularly those not signed to major labels and without access to traditional mass media outlets such as radio and television, have said that Napster and successive Internet file-sharing networks have helped get their music heard, spread word of mouth, and may have improved their sales in the long term. One such musician to publicly defend Napster as a promotional tool for independent artists was Dj Xealot, who became directly involved in the 2000 A&M Records Lawsuit.  Chuck D from Public Enemy also came out and publicly supported Napster. 
Napster’s facilitation of transfer of copyrighted material raised the ire of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which almost immediately—on December 6, 1999—filed a lawsuit against the popular service.  The service would only get bigger as the trial, meant to shut down Napster, also gave it a great deal of publicity. Soon millions of users, many of whom were college students, flocked to it.
After a failed appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court, an injunction was issued on March 5, 2001 ordering Napster to prevent the trading of copyrighted music on its network. 
Lawrence Lessig claimed, however, that this decision made little sense from the perspective of copyright protection: “When Napster told the district court that it had developed a technology to block the transfer of 99. 4 percent of identified infringing material, the district court told counsel for Napster 99. 4 percent was not good enough. Napster had to push the infringements ‘down to zero. ‘ If 99. 4 percent is not good enough, ” Lessig concluded, “then this is a war on file-sharing technologies, not a war on copyright infringement. ”
On July 11, 2001, Napster shut down its entire network in order to comply with the injunction. On September 24, 2001, the case was partially settled. Napster agreed to pay music creators and copyright owners a $26 million settlement for past, unauthorized uses of music, and as an advance against future licensing royalties of $10 million. In order to pay those fees Napster attempted to convert its free service into a subscription system, and thus traffic to Napster was reduced. A prototype solution was tested in 2002: the Napster 3. 0 Alpha, using the “” secure file format from PlayMedia Systems and audio fingerprinting technology licensed from Relatable. Napster 3. 0 was, according to many former Napster employees, ready to deploy, but it had significant trouble obtaining licenses to distribute major-label music. On May 17, 2002, Napster announced that its assets would be acquired by German media firm Bertelsmann for $85 million with the goal of transforming Napster into an online music subscription service. The two companies had been collaborating since the middle of 2000 where Bertelsmann became the first major label to drop its copyright lawsuit against Napster.  Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement, on June 3 Napster filed for Chapter 11 protection under United States bankruptcy laws. On September 3, 2002, an American bankruptcy judge blocked the sale to Bertelsmann and forced Napster to liquidate its assets. 
After official Napster client takedown, multiple third-party client and server implementations continued working and supporting Napster network. These include OpenNap and TekNap. 
Reuse of name
Napster’s brand and logos were acquired at bankruptcy auction by Roxio which used them to re-brand the Pressplay music service as Napster 2. 0. In September 2008, Napster was purchased by US electronics retailer Best Buy for US $121 million.  On December 1, 2011, pursuant to a deal with Best Buy, Napster merged with Rhapsody, with Best Buy receiving a minority stake in Rhapsody.  On July 14, 2016, Rhapsody phased out the Rhapsody brand in favor of Napster and has since branded its service internationally as Napsterand expanded toward other markets by providing music on-demand as a service to other brands like the iHeartRadio app and their All Access music subscription service that provides subscribers with an on-demand music experience as well as premium radio. 
On August 25, 2020, Napster was sold to virtual reality concerts company MelodyVR. 
There have been several books that document the experiences of people working at Napster, including:
Joseph Menn’s Napster biography
All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning’s Napster
John Alderman’s “Sonic Boom: Napster, MP3, and the New Pioneers of Music”
Steve Knopper’s “Appetite for Self Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age. “
The 2003 film The Italian Job features Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning as a cameo of himself. This gave credence to one of the characters fictional back-story as the original “Napster”. 
The 2010 film The Social Network features Napster co-founder Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) in the rise of the popular website Facebook. 
The 2013 film Downloaded is a documentary about sharing media on the Internet and includes the history of Napster.
Napster (streaming music service)
Carlsson, Bengt; Gustavsson, Rune (2001). “The Rise and Fall of Napster – An Evolutionary Approach”. Proceedings of the 6th International Computer Science Conference on Active Media Technology.
Giesler, Markus; Pohlmann, Mali (2003). “The Social Form of Napster: Cultivating the Paradox of Consumer Emancipation”. Advances in Consumer Research.
Giesler, Markus; Pohlmann, Mali (2003). “The Anthropology of File Sharing: Consuming Napster as a Gift”. Advances in Consumer Research.
Giesler, Markus (2006). “Consumer Gift Systems”. Journal of Consumer Research. 33 (2): 283–290. doi:10. 1086/506309.
Green, Matthew (2002). “Napster Opens Pandora’s Box: Examining How File-Sharing Services Threaten the Enforcement of Copyright on the Internet”. Ohio State Law Journal. 63: 799.
InsightExpress. 2000. Napster and its Users Not violating Copyright Infringement Laws, According to a Survey of the Online Community.
Ku, Raymond Shih Ray (2001). “The Creative Destruction of Copyright: Napster and the New Economics of Digital Technology”. University of Chicago Law Review. 2139/ssrn. 266964. SSRN 266964.
McCourt, Tom; Burkart, Patrick (2003). “When Creators, Corporations and Consumers Collide: Napster and the Development of On-line Music Distribution”. Media, Culture & Society. 25 (3): 333–350. 1177/0163443703025003003. S2CID 153739320.
Orbach, Barak (2008). “Indirect Free Riding on the Wheels of Commerce: Dual-Use Technologies and Copyright Liability”. Emory Law Journal. 57: 409–461. SSRN 965720.
Abramson, Bruce (2005). Digital Phoenix; Why the Information Economy Collapsed and How it Will Rise Again. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-51196-4.
Judge criticises both parties in Napster case
“The File Sharing Movement” in Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu, Who Controls the Internet: Illusions of a Borderless World Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 105–125. ISBN 978-0-19-515266-1
^ Sisario, Ben (2011-10-03). “Rhapsody to Acquire Napster in Deal With Best Buy”. United States. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
^ Name inspired by Shawn’s high school nickname “Nappy” for his signature Afro.
Pollack, Neal (December 27, 2010). “Spotify Is the Coolest Music Service You Can’t Use”. Wired.
Simon, Dan. Internet pioneer Sean Parker: ‘I’m blazing a new path’ Archived May 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. CNN. September 27, 2011.
Menn, Joseph (2003). All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning’s Napster. Crown Business. ISBN 978-0-609-61093-0.
Schonfeld, Erick. Shawn Fanning And Sean Parker Talk About Airtime And “Smashing People Together”. TechCrunch. October 6, 2011.
Rosen, Ellen (May 26, 2005). “Student’s Start-Up Draws Attention and $13 Million”. The New York Times.
Bradshaw, Tim. Spotify-MOG battle heats up. Financial Times. February 28, 2010.
Emerson, Ramona. Sean Parker At Web 2. 0 Summit Defends ‘Creepy’ Facebook. The Huffington Post. October 18, 2011.
Kirkpatrick, David (October 2010). “With a Little Help From His Friends”. Vanity Fair. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
^ “Napster’s High and Low Notes”. Businessweek. August 14, 2000.
^ *Giesler, Markus (2006). 1086/506309.
^ a b Evangelista, Benny (September 4, 2002). “Napster runs out of lives – judge rules against sale”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
^ Gowan, Michael (2002-05-18). “Requiem for Napster”. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
^ Fusco, Patricia (March 13, 2000). “The Napster Nightmare”. ISP-Planet. Archived from the original on 2011-10-19.
^ Anderson, Kevin (September 26, 2000). “Napster expelled by universities”. BBC News. Archived from the original on 2007-10-21.
^ “Official Napster Client For Mac OS, OS X — The Mac Observer”.
^ Moore, Charles W. “Eight MP3 Players For The Macintosh”. Applelinks. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
^ Giesler, Markus (2008). “Conflict and Compromise: Drama in Marketplace Evolution” (PDF). 34 (6): 739–753. CiteSeerX 10. 1. 564. 7146. 1086/522098. S2CID 145796529.
^ Borland, John (June 1, 2000). “Unreleased Madonna Single Slips On To Net”. CNET Archived from the original on June 28, 2012.
^ “GLOBAL NAPSTER USAGE PLUMMETS, BUT NEW FILE-SHARING ALTERNATIVES GAINING GROUND, REPORTS JUPITER MEDIA METRIX” (Press release). comScore. 2001-07-20. Archived from the original on 2008-04-13. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
^ 17 U. C. A&M Records. Inc. Napster. 114 F. Supp. 2d 896 (N. D. Cal. 2000).
^. A&M Records, Inc. Napster, Inc., 239 F. 3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001). For a summary and analysis, see Guy Douglas, Copyright and Peer-To-Peer Music File Sharing: The Napster Case and the Argument Against Legislative Reform
^ “Metallica’s Kirk Hammett: ‘We’re Still Right’ About Suing Napster”. Rolling Stone. 2018-05-14. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
^ Menta, Richard (October 28, 2000). “Did Napster Take Radiohead’s New Album to Number 1? “. MP3 Newswire.
^ “Case Nos. C 99-5183 and C 00-0074 MHP (ADR)” (PDF). Retrieved February 12, 2009.
^ “Rapper Chuck D throws weight behind Napster”. Cnet News. May 1, 2000.
A&M Records, Inc. Napster, Inc., 114 F. 2000), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 239 F. 2001)
Menta, Richard (December 9, 1999). “RIAA Sues Music Startup Napster for $20 Billion”. MP3 Newswire.
^ 2001 US Dist. LEXIS 2186 (N. Mar. 5, 2001), aff’d, 284 F. 3d 1091 (9th Cir. 2002).
^ Lessig, Lawrence (2004). Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity. Penguin. pp. 73–74. ISBN 978-0-14-303465-0.
^ “Napster to ditch MP3 for proprietary format”.
^ “Bertelsmann to buy Napster for a song”. CNET. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
^ Teather, David; correspondent, media business (2000-11-01). “Napster wins new friend”. The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
^ Skillings (September 15, 2008). “Best Buy nabs Napster for $121 million”. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
^ “Today is Napster’s last day of existence”. November 30, 2011.
^ “We Are Napster”. Napster Team. July 14, 2016.
^ “Services | Napster”. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
^ “Press Releases”.. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
^ “Napster Sold to Virtual Reality Concert App MelodyVR for $70 Million”. Billboard. 2020-08-25. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
^ Menn, Joseph (2003). “All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning’s Napster”. ISBN 0609610937.
^ John Alderman (August 8, 2001). Sonic boom: Napster, MP3, and the new pioneers of music. Perseus Pub. ISBN 978-0-7382-0405-5. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
^ Napster wounds the giant: Music. The Rocky Mountain News (January 5, 2009). Retrieved on January 29, 2011.
^ News, InfoSec. “Information Security News: Napster founder has cameo role in ‘Italian Job'”. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
^ Kirkpatrick, David. With a Little Help From His Friends. October 2010.
Official website in 2011 on
LimeWire – Wikipedia
Not to be confused with LiveWire.
LimeWireDeveloper(s)Lime Wire LLCInitial releaseMay 3, 2000; 21 years agoFinal release5. 5. 16
/ October 26, 2010; 10 years agoPreview release5. 6. 1
/ May 7, 2010; 11 years agoWritten inJavaPlatformJava SEAvailable in32 languagesTypePeer-to-peer file (Offline)
LimeWire is a discontinued free software peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) client for Windows, OS X, Linux and Solaris.  LimeWire uses the gnutella network as well as the BitTorrent protocol.  A zero-cost version and a purchasable “enhanced” version (called LimeWire Pro) were available; LimeWire Pro could be acquired through the regular LimeWire software without payment, as users distributed it through the software without authorization. BitTorrent support is provided by libtorrent.
On October 26, 2010, U. S. federal court judge Kimba Wood issued an injunction ordering LimeWire to prevent “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of its software in Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC.  A trial investigating the damages necessary to compensate the affected record labels was scheduled to begin in January 2011.  As a result of the injunction, LimeWire stopped distributing the LimeWire software, and versions 5. 11 and newer have been disabled using a backdoor installed by the company. However, version 5. 10 and all prior versions of LimeWire remain fully functional and cannot be disabled unless a user upgrades to one of the newer versions.  The program has been “resurrected” by the creators of WireShare (formerly known as LimeWire Pirate Edition). 
Written in the Java programming language, LimeWire can run on any computer with a Java Virtual Machine installed. Installers were provided for Apple’s Mac OS X, Microsoft’s Windows, and Linux. Support for Mac OS 9 and other previous versions was dropped with the release of LimeWire 4. 0. 10. From version 4. 8 onwards, LimeWire works as a UPnP Internet Gateway Device controller in that it can automatically set up packet-forwarding rules with UPnP-capable routers.
LimeWire offers sharing of its library through the Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP). As such, when LimeWire is running and configured to allow it, any files shared are detectable and downloaded on the local network by DAAP-enabled devices (e. g., Zune, iTunes). Beginning with LimeWire 4. 13. 9, connections can be encrypted with Transport Layer Security (TLS). Following LimeWire 4. 11, TLS became the default connection option. 
Until October 2010, Lime Wire LLC, the New York City based developer of LimeWire, distributed two versions of the program: a basic gratis version, and an enhanced version, LimeWire PRO, which sold for a fee of $21. 95 with 6 months of updates, or around $35. 00 with 1 year of updates. The company claimed the paid version provides faster downloads and 66% better search results. This is accomplished by facilitating direct connection with up to 10 hosts of an identical searched file at any one time, whereas the gratis version is limited to a maximum of 8 hosts. 
Being free software, LimeWire has spawned forks, including LionShare, an experimental software development project at Penn State University,  and Acquisition, a Mac OS X-based gnutella client with a proprietary interface.  Researchers at Cornell University developed a reputation management add-in called Credence that allows users to distinguish between “genuine” and “suspect” files before downloading them.  An October 12, 2005, report states that some of LimeWire’s contributors have forked the project and called it FrostWire. 
LimeWire was the second file sharing program after Frostwire to support firewall-to-firewall file transfers, a feature introduced in version 4. 2, which was released in November 2004. LimeWire also now includes BitTorrent support, but is limited to three torrent uploads and three torrent downloads, which coexist with ordinary downloads. LimeWire 5. 0 added an instant messenger that uses the XMPP Protocol, a free software communication protocol. Users can chat and share files with individuals or a group of friends in their buddy list.
A screenshot of Limewire 5 0 11 beta
From version 5. 1, LimeWire has added a key activation, which requires the user to enter the unique key before activating the “Pro” version of the software. This has stopped people from using downloaded “Pro” versions without authorisation. However, there are still ways to bypass this security feature, which was done when creating the “Pirate Edition”. For example, cracked versions of LimeWire were available on the Internet (including on LimeWire itself), and people could continue using the LimeWire Pro 5. 1 Beta, which also includes AVG for LimeWire and is the first version to include AVG. The most recent stable version of LimeWire is 5. 16.
Versions of LimeWire prior to 5. 10 can still connect to the Gnutella network and users of these versions are still able to download files, even though a message is displayed concerning the injunction during the startup process of the software. LimeWire versions 5. 11 and newer feature an auto-update feature that allowed Lime Wire LLC to disable newer versions of the LimeWire software. Older versions of LimeWire prior to version 5. 11, however, do not include the auto-update feature and are still fully functional. As a result, neither the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) nor Lime Wire LLC have the ability to disable older versions of LimeWire, unless the user chooses to upgrade to a newer version of LimeWire. 
On November 10, 2010, a secret group of developers called the “Secret Dev Team” sought to keep the application working by releasing the “LimeWire Pirate Edition”.  The software is based on LimeWire 5. 6 Beta, and is aimed to allow Windows versions to still work and remove the threat of spyware or adware. The exclusive features in LimeWire PRO were also unlocked, and all security features installed by Lime Wire LLC were removed. 
Forks and alternatives
A number of forks of LimeWire have been released, with the goal of giving users more freedom, or objecting to decisions made by Lime Wire LLC they disagreed with.
FrostWire was started in September 2004 by members of the LimeWire community, after LimeWire’s distributor considered adding “blocking” code, in response to RIAA pressure and the threat of legal action, in light of the U. Supreme Court’s decision in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.. When eventually activated, the code could block its users from sharing licensed files. This code was recently[when? ] changed when lawsuits had been filed against LimeWire for P2P downloading. It had blocked all their users and redirected them to FrostWire.  FrostWire has since completely moved to the BitTorrent protocol from Gnutella (LimeWire’s file sharing network).
LimeWire Pirate Edition/WireShare
In November 2010, as a response to the legal challenges regarding LimeWire, an anonymous individual by the handle of Meta Pirate released a modified version of LimeWire Pro, which was entitled LimeWire Pirate Edition.  It came without the toolbar, advertising, spyware, and backdoors, as well as all dependencies on Lime Wire LLC servers. 
In response to allegations that a current or former member of Lime Wire LLC staff wrote and released the software, the company has stated they were “not behind these efforts. LimeWire does not authorize them. LimeWire is complying with the Court’s October 26, 2010 injunction. “
The LimeWire team, after being accused by the RIAA of being complicit in the development of LimeWire Pirate Edition,  swiftly acted to shut down the LimeWire Pirate Edition website. A court order was issued to close down the website, and, to remain anonymous, Meta Pirate, the developer of LimeWire PE, did not contest the order. 
Following the shutdown, the original LimeWire project was reforked into WireShare, with the intent to keep the Gnutella network alive and to maintain a good faith continuation of the original project (without adware or spyware); development of the software continues to this day. [when? ]
Around 2020, another free software program resembling LimeWire called MuWire was released; it uses I2P to anonymise connections and transfers. 
Prior to April 2004, the free version of LimeWire was distributed with a bundled program called LimeShop (a variant of TopMoxie), which was spyware. Among other things, LimeShop monitored online purchases in order to redirect sales commissions to Lime Wire LLC. Uninstallation of LimeWire would not remove LimeShop. With the removal of all bundled software in LimeWire 3. 9. 4 (released on April 20, 2004), these objections were addressed.  LimeWire currently has a facility that allows its server to contact a running LimeWire client and gather various information. 
In LimeWire versions before 5. 0, users could accidentally configure the software to allow access to any file on their computer, including documents with personal information. Recent[specify] versions of LimeWire do not allow unintentional sharing of documents or applications. In 2005, the US Federal Trade Commission issued a warning regarding the dangers of using peer-to-peer file sharing networks, stating that using such networks can lead to identity theft and lawsuits. 
An identity theft scheme involving LimeWire was discovered in Denver in 2006.  On September 7, 2007, Gregory Thomas Kopiloff of Seattle was arrested in what the U. Justice Department described as its first case against someone accused of using file sharing computer programs to commit identity theft. According to federal prosecutors, Kopiloff used LimeWire to search other people’s computers for inadvertently shared financial information and then used it to obtain credit cards for an online shopping spree. 
One investigation showed that of 123 randomly selected downloaded files, 37 contained malware – about 30%.  In mid-2008, a Macintosh trojan exploiting a vulnerability involving Apple Remote Desktop was distributed via LimeWire affecting users of Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.  The ability to distribute such malware and viruses has also been reduced in versions of LimeWire 5. 0 and greater, with the program defaulting to not share or search for executable files.
On May 5, 2009, a P2P industry spokesman represented Lime Wire and others at a U. House of Representatives legislative hearing on H. R. 1319, “The Informed P2P User Act”. 
On February 15, 2010, LimeWire reversed its previous anti-bundling stance and announced the inclusion of an browser toolbar that users had to explicitly opt-out of to prevent installation.  The toolbar sends web and bittorrent searches to, and LimeWire searches to an instance of LimeWire on the user’s machine.
LimeWire automatically receives a cryptographically signed file, called, containing an IP block list. It was the key technology behind the now defunct cyber security firm Tiversa which is alleged to have used information from the network to pressure prospective clients into engaging the company’s services. 
According to a June 2005 report in The New York Times, Lime Wire LLC was considering ceasing its distribution of LimeWire because the outcome of MGM v. Grokster “handed a tool to judges that they can declare inducement whenever they want to”. 
On May 12, 2010, Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC that LimeWire and its creator, Mark Gorton, had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced others to commit copyright infringement.  On October 26, 2010, LimeWire was ordered to disable the “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality” after losing a court battle with the RIAA over claims of copyright infringement. The RIAA also announced intentions to pursue legal action over the damages caused by the program in January to compensate the affected record labels.  In retaliation, the RIAA’s website was taken offline on October 29 via denial-of-service attacks executed by members of Operation Payback and Anonymous. 
In response to the ruling, a company spokesperson said that the company is not shutting down, but will use its “best efforts” to cease distributing and supporting P2P software. 
In early 2011, the RIAA announced their intention to sue LimeWire, pursuing a statutory damages theory that claimed up to $72 trillion in damages – a sum greater than the GDP of the entire global economy at the time. There are currently around 11, 000 songs on LimeWire that have been tagged as copyright-infringed, and the RIAA estimates that each one has been downloaded thousands of times, the penalties accruing to the above sum. 
A trial to decide on the eventual amount of damages owed by Limewire to thirteen record labels, including Warner Music Group and Sony Music, all of which are represented by the RIAA, started early in May and went on until on May 13, 2011, when Gorton agreed to pay the 13 record companies $105 million in an out-of-court settlement.
Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the RIAA, referred to the “resolution of the case [as] another milestone in the continuing evolution of online music to a legitimate marketplace that appropriately rewards creators. “
Comparison of file sharing applications
Open Music Model
Similar court rulings
^ Halliday, Josh (October 27, 2010). “LimeWire shut down by federal court”. The Guardian. London.
^ Gonsalves, Antone (October 27, 2010). “LimeWire Ordered To Shut Down – File Sharing Sites”. InformationWeek. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
^ Bangeman, Eric (October 26, 2010). “Sour ruling for LimeWire as court says to turn off P2P functionality”. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
^ Hachman, Mark (October 28, 2010). “‘Anonymous’ Plans DDoS Attack on RIAA on Friday”. PC Magazine. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
^ a b Hachman, Mark (October 26, 2010). “Lime Wire Turns Off Limewire P2P Service”. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
^ Albanesius, Chloe (November 9, 2010). “Report: LimeWire ‘Resurrected’ by Secret Dev Team”. PC Magazine.
^ “Changelog”. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010.
^ “The History of LimeWire – A P2P File Sharing Software of the 2000s”. Youtube Music Sucks. March 13, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
^ “How LimeWire Works”. HowStuffWorks. January 25, 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
^ “Limewire – Dead Media Archive”. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
^ “Top 20 Best Peer to Peer P2P File Sharing Programs and Applications”. BlogsDNA. January 1, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
^ “Credence – Thwarting P2P Pollution”. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
^ “FrostWire Beta Released”, from
^ “Limewire Brought Back to Life by Secret Dev Team”. Limewire Info. November 21, 2010. Archived from the original on March 2, 2011. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
^ Andrew Lyle. LimeWire resurrected by Secret Dev Team. Retrieved November 10, 2010. (archive)
^ enigmax. Torrentfreak%28Torrentfreak%29 LimeWire Resurrected By Secret Dev Team. TorrentFreak. (archive)
^ a b Humphries, Matthew (November 9, 2010). “LimeWire is back as LimeWire Pirate Edition (UPDATED) – Tech Products & Geek News”. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
^ Albanesius, Chloe (November 9, 2010). “Report: LimeWire ‘Resurrected’ by Secret Dev Team – News & Opinion”. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
^ Anderson, Nate. “Horde of piratical monkeys creates LimeWire: Pirate Edition”. Ars Technica. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
^ Sandoval, Greg (November 19, 2010). “RIAA wants revived LimeWire dead and buried”. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
^ enigmax (November 19, 2010). “LimeWire Pirate Edition Site Nuked By “Cheap and Dishonest” RIAA Action”. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
^ “WireShare”. SourceForge. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
^ “WireShare (formerly entitled LimeWire Pirate Edition)”.. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
^ “LimeWire Developer Creates MuWire, an Anonymous File-Sharing Application”.
^ Lime Wire » Features History Archived March 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
^ “A Freedom-of-Speech-based Approach To Limiting Filesharing – Part II: The Block List”.
^ “FTC Issues Report on Peer-to-Peer File Sharing”. September 26, 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
^ Police: File sharing key to ID theft scheme By Howard Pankratz. Denver Post, October 27, 2006.
^ U. arrest puts spotlight on file-sharing risk.
^ PC Pro Magazine, September 2008 issue, p. 109.
^ Firms discover Trojan horse targeted at Mac OS X.
^ “- H. 2221, THE DATA ACCOUNTABILITY AND PROTECTION ACT, AND H. 1319, THE INFORMED P2P USER ACT”.. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
^ Limewire Blog Archived June 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
^ A Cybersecurity Firm’s Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse By Raffi Khatchadourian. The New Yorker, November 4, 2019.
^ Zeller, Tom (June 28, 2005). “Sharing Culture Likely to Pause but Not Wither”. New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2008.
^ Plambeck, Joseph (May 13, 2010), “Court Rules That LimeWire Infringed On Copyrights”, New York Times
^ “Music Biz Wins Big in LimeWire Copyright Case”, ABC News
^ Adegoke, Yinka; Stempel, Jonathan (October 26, 2010). “Court shuts down LimeWire music-sharing service”. Reuters. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
^ Sandoval, Greg (October 26, 2010). “Judge slaps Lime Wire with permanent injunction”. CNET. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
^ Thomas Mennecke (October 29, 2010). “RIAA and LimeWire Both are Offline”.
^ “Sour ruling for LimeWire as court says to turn off P2P functionality”. October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
^ Mike Fossum (May 24, 2012). “RIAA Lawsuit Against LimeWire for $72 Trillion Shot Down”. WebProNews. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
^ Purewal, Sarah Jacobsson. “RIAA Thinks LimeWire Owes $75 Trillion in Damages”,, March 26, 2011, accessed April 9, 2011.
^ Wood, Kimba. “Opinion and order” (PDF). United States District Court, Southern District of New York. p. 6 of the faxed document, 7 of the PDF. Archived from the original (PDF of facsimile) on March 31, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2012. Plaintiffs have never explained to the Court how they would even go about determining how many direct infringers there were per work. However, Plaintiffs have alleged that there were more than 500 million downloads of post-1972 works using the LimeWire system.
^ “LimeWire pays $105m illegal filesharing settlement”. FACT. May 13, 2011.
Shuman Ghosemajumder (2002). Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models (Thesis). MIT Sloan School of Management. hdl:1721. 1/8438.
Sean Silverthorne (2004). “Music Downloads: Pirates- or Customers? “. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to LimeWire.
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LimeWire Resurrected By Secret Dev Team (2010), TorrentFreak
Frequently Asked Questions about napster type sites
What is Napster website?
Napster is a set of three music-focused online services. It was founded in 1999 as a pioneering peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing Internet software that emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically audio songs, encoded in MP3 format.
Does LimeWire still exist?
LimeWire is a discontinued free software peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) client for Windows, OS X, Linux and Solaris. … LimeWire uses the gnutella network as well as the BitTorrent protocol.
Is it illegal to use Napster?
Napster Shut Down Napster’s illegal operations were soon on the radar of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), which filed a lawsuit against it for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.Nov 18, 2019