RIAA Kills LimeWire Who’s Next?

As part of an on-going lawsuit between Limewire.com, the popular P2P file sharing software, and 13 major record labels, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood has issued an injunction requiring LimeWire to immediately disable its peer-to-peer, music and file sharing software. George Searle, LimeWire’s CEO, said in a statement, “We are required to stop distribution and support of LimeWire’s P2P file sharing service as a result of a court-ordered injunction.”
This ruling comes on the heels of an earlier decision by the same New York federal court judge granting the record companies’ motions of inducement of copyright infringement, common law copyright infringement, and unfair competition.

“Naturally, we’re disappointed with this turn of events. We are extremely proud of our pioneering history and have, for years, worked hard to bridge the gap between technology and content rights holders,” said Searle.  “However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software.”
It’s hard to imagine any scenarios where LimeWire is able to survive as a viable company given these recent blows to its business model, although Searle insists the company is still “open for business.“  LimeWire is owned by the Lime Company located in New York, NY.  The statement on the company’s website promises that it is working to create “a completely new music service that puts you back at the center of your digital music experience,” although details of what the service was and how it would work were not provided.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) seems intent on continuing to litigate cases involving software that allows for the free, and illegal, distribution of music through various peer-to-peer clients.  LimeWire may be destined to go the way of earlier versions of P2P software including the original Napster and its successors Kazza, Grokster, Morpheus, and iMesh.  (In response to its suit with the RIAA, iMesh paid record companies $4.1 million and have developed a paid service that has been “approved” by the RIAA.)
With the imminent demise of LimeWire all but certain, current LimeWire users who use the service for legal purposes will be left out in the dark.  Despite the history of failure, there will no doubt be a number of companies vying for LimeWire’s former position as the most popular P2P client.  Users of the P2P software are not exempt from legal problems, as the tens of thousands of individual users sued by the RIAA can attest, but with those facts in mind, here are a few P2P services that are still up and running.
FrostWire
Based on much of the code developed by LimeWire, FrostWire (Frostwire.com) is a P2P file sharing client that advertises itself as “The Fastest Bit Torrent/Gnutella P2P Program” available on the net.  The user interface is similar to that of LimeWire and installation is simple and straightforward.  The newest version, 4.21.1, can be downloaded from the company website for free.  There is also an android app for FrostWire, although reviews have been mixed.
uTorrent
 
This small (it can run from a thumb drive) program offers a very light resource footprint while doing the job of getting the files you want in a timely manner.  Too often torrent and Gnutella files will clog up your bandwidth, slowing things to a crawl.  The newest release of uTorrent solves this problem by monitoring network traffic and slowing down the amount of bandwidth devoted to downloads when you are working on other tasks.  You can find it at uTorrent.com.
 
BitComet
 
BitComet is another P2P program that offers users the ability to download files from the Torrent network.  According to the publisher: “BitComet provides a reliable and efficient distribution solution with modern peer-to-peer technology, which makes it possible to distribute huge media files over the Internet in a high speed and low cost.”  User ratings on software rating sites have typically been higher than average.
 
Shareaza
Shareaza is a P2P client that utilizes EDonkey2000, Gnutella, BitTorrent and Gnutella2 (G2) networks.  It offers a great deal of support with a Wiki, User Chatroom, and a public users forum.  It can be downloaded at shareaza.sourceforge.net.  Beware of a look-a-like program that operates through Shareaza.com, however.  The Shareaza.com has in the past tried to trick users into downloading software they really don’t want, or need.
These are just a few of the current alternatives to LimeWire.  There will no doubt be others coming to the top of the pack soon.
Have favorite P2P client?  Write us and share your thoughts.
Michael O’bryan writes. O’bryan is a technology expert that also writes about the chat messenger Chit Chat for Facebook. In short, Chit Chat is a Facebook login app that provides users the benefit of being able to connect to Facebook chat from their desktops.

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