As of Oct. 27th, user-friendly, popular, and ancient (est. 2000) peer-to-peer file sharing network Limewire was shut down by a court-ordered injunction. After almost a decade of legal sparring with the Recording Industry Association of America, founder Mark Gorton’s brainchild was ordered by Judge Kimba Wood to shut down. Wood concluded that because of Limewire, the RIAA “suffered – and will continue to suffer – irreparable harm from LimeWire’s inducement of widespread infringement of their works.”
The RIAA’s history of handling copyright infringement makes their case hard to sympathize with. But while the RIAA has a reputation for being copyright
fascists, Limewire’s plight is nothing new. It follows the precedent set by Napster and Kazaa before it. However, the RIAA has yet to fully tackle the Marxist media monolith of torrent file sharing.
While Limewire served its purpose best in distributing individual .mp3 files and perhaps albums, torrent systems allow users to download unlimited amounts of data (let’s say, the entire series of Seinfeld). Torrent systems such as uTorrent and Azureus still allow users to download media content, free from copyright infringement enforcers. And, in the meantime, any number of file hosting sites allow users to upload files (including full-length films, albums, etc.) for any user to download.
Though the RIAA has tried for over a decade to end music piracy, the constant evolution of sharing (a.k.a. stealing) technology makes it too difficult to keep up with. Check out this timeline of file-sharing technology (note that while it mentions The Pirate Bay was shut down under a court injunction, it appealed; it awaits a verdict from a Swedish court on Nov. 26th).
For a tutorial in torrent file acquisition, check out this video: