Yeah, this one is almost as insane as it sounds. In one of last week’s posts, I covered how LimeWire LLC was court-ordered to end its operations and shut down its peer-to-peer file sharing network. This was depressing news to many users (including myself) who have relied on LimeWire to handle our circumventive file acquisition needs over at least the last five years.
While I suggested in my post that BitTorrent technology may provide safe haven for those users that have no interest in paying $30 for a 1080p rip of James Cameron’s Avatar, a media liberation cyberpunk known only as “MetaPirate” led to the revival of the file sharing system by releasing LimeWire: Pirate Edition. According to Nate Anderson at Ars Technica, “LimeWire Pirate Edition builds on the old LimeWire codebase, but it removes LimeWire’s use of some centralized servers, the Ask.com toolbar, in-app advertising, and software backdoors. It also enables all the features of the “Pro” version that LimeWire LLC used to sell as a premium product.”
The coders behind LimeWire’s rerelease described it as, “A horde of piratical monkeys climbed aboard the abandoned ship, mended its sails, polished its cannons and released it FREE to the community to help keep the Gnutella network alive.”
In an email correspondence with Ars Technica, MetaPirate described his/her motives as, “Speaking for myself, the motivation is to make RIAA lawyers cry into their breakfast cereal… I hope the other monkeys have nobler intentions.” Believing in the perseverance of LimeWire as a symbol of free file exchange, MetaPirate says, “You can spend years and millions of dollars knocking something down, and it will just get back up. Not an equivalent, not a replacement, but the exact same thing. The Pirate Bay has really demonstrated the importance of that.” Fittingly, the tagline for the new software is, “You can’t keep a good app down.”
The LimeWire Pirate Edition site hosts a plethora of locations from which users can download the new software for Windows, Mac, and Linux, ensuring no user platform has to go without LimeWire’s services. The site’s “About” section claims, “LimeWire Pirate Edition is free, open source P2P software. It does not include any adware or spyware, and it cannot be remotely monitored or shut down.”