LimeWire Toasted: Begs RIAA for Mercy After Total Defeat

By Moses Avalon

So, once again the RIAA, the trade organization investing millions in the rights of labels and their artists, has won yet another slam dunk victory in court against a major file-sharing profit machine, who was punch-drunk on venture capital and free love, free music, free something or other.


LimeWire has totally lost in court.  Not a single one of their motions survived and the judge in the case has told them, make a deal or be hit with such huge damages that they will very surely have to close.

In response, to their massive defeat in court in May of 2010, they have asked for mercy by making a very lame offer to the RIAA for what is being benignly spun by tech-sympathetic mags like Wired, as a “second chance.”  As if LimeWire were just a foolish child who now learned their lesson, instead of one that has repeatedly thumbed their nose at court ruling after court ruling.

What is LimeWire’s new offer?  It is to place a filter to inhibit all RIAA affiliated content if the RIAA will allow them to continue to operate as a legitimate digital store for mostly indie content. No cash, no apology.

Why they think the RIAA, who represents the labels that compete with indies, would take such a deal is beyond me.  The trade organization that represents the labels responsible for about 70% of all music products and about 99% of anything that sells more than 10,000 units a year, will likely rake them over the same coals that they did Kazaa, Grokster, Pirate Bay, Napster and every other illegal service that has been stealing from artists for the past decade.

In other parts of the world, with each passing day countries are adopting new laws that will make unauthorized P2P a crime.  Even Denmark and Sweden, the file sharing havens, are giving in.  Pirate Bay execs up on criminal charges, P2P networks being raided, all this in concert with ISPs, now offering to shut down P2P offenders via the Three Strikes Rule, shows a new tilt in public policy that will inhibit users from freely sharing music files unfettered by the law.

These events in the eyes of this pundit pretty much signal the beginning of the end of the “music should be free” era.  It will dangle around here and there for a few more years with a few rebels, but the big industry fear, that this generation of new music buyers will grow up thinking that music SHOULD be free, is now heavily dampened.

The message young adults and teenagers are more likely to get is that sharing/stealing music has consequences and is un-cool. You could get fined, get jail time or worse– have your internet service turned off.  This, according to surveys resonates, far more with 20 somethings than going to prison, which is probably too abstract for them to fathom. But no Facebook?!?  That would spell social suicide prompting folks to think twice before hitting the download button.

LimeWire is not the first or the only P2P service, but they are the most prolific and the one that assumed the most arrogant posture against labels, claiming to be helping the industry evolve, rather than seeing themselves as just pure and simple facilitators of thievery.

A Year Ago Today LimeWire Invited Indies to Play

It was less than a year ago that I reported on LimeWire’s vanguard digital store that will protect any file from P2P theft–but only if you license the track through their digital store.Many of you posted some very articulate arguments about this, most doubting its sincerity or veracity.

But, indie giants like CD Baby, Orchard and TuneCore were quick to sign on to this new service, hosted by the largest facilitator of music theft in history.When I interviewed the CEO of several big digital distributors last year, most felt that LimeWire deserved a second chance. CD Baby’s president, Brian Felsen, praised LimeWire with karmic imperatives and folksy rationale, “I’d like to encourage a company when they do the right thing.”

Now that a federal judge has helped LimeWire to see that they were punch drunk on venture capital and in fact they were no different than a gun maker giving free firearms to junkies robbing a Seven Eleven, how does the blanket licensing of the nation’s top indie aggregators sit with their hundreds of thousands of clients. And now that majors have LimeWire over a barrel, will they feel like giving them a second chance?

Now, like a common criminal looking to mitigate their potential $1 Billion in damages, LimeWire wants a deal, but the deal they are offering majors is a joke. No fine, no revenue share, just a filter and they get to go on doing business, making millions?  They must think the music biz is as high as we pretend to be in MTV videos if they think we’re gonna go for that.Oh and BTW, wasn’t this the same content filter that they said was technologically unfeasible less than a year ago– under oath?

Say goodbye to LimeWire.   If you were a user, my suggestion is that you delete the program from your computer before the settlement is finalized. The RIAA will surely have access to all their transaction records once the company is in receivership.  I don’t see more RIAA file sharing lawsuits coming from this, but do you want to take that chance, besides, the LimeWire software will be useless once the servers are taken off line.

Hey, LimeWire–  Sayonara douche-bags.  Rot in Hell.  No, no, better yet, get a real job and GO MAKE SOMETHING!!!

Mo out

9 responses to “LimeWire Toasted: Begs RIAA for Mercy After Total Defeat”

  1. Randy Lee says:

    Moses, with all due respect, you just don’t get it. No matter what the labels and the courts do, they can never put the genie back in the bottle. Digital media is digital media. NOW, it is easier to copy than to create. End of story.

    The only way that recorded music can maintain it’s old profit structure is to devolve back to analog media. Even then, it is a dubious proposition. Say a group only releases a new album on LP. What do you think will happen? Somebody will play a brand new copy of the LP on a laser tone arm equipped turntable, digitize the output, and you are right back where you started. “Free” Copy City!! You can crow all you want about the demise of Slime Wire, but that does nothing to halt the avalanche of copying. For every Pirate Bay and Slime Wire forced out of biz, there are a hundred new technologies, being implemented right now as I type, to enable the propagation of data. You can endlessly debate the ethics, but, again, it won’t stop the flood. It’s over bud. Face it.

  2. Billy Dojcak says:

    I buy music. Loads of it. In just about every format that ever existed. My wife is always griping about another package that comes to the door. Yet I also visit Pirate Bay, Demonoid and Soulseek. Why? Mainly to acquire music and video in which I cannot find a REAL copy. Sure there are people ripping and uploading every single new music and dvd release, but there are also some of us that don’t follow mainstream media nor like what is curently commercially available via traditional retail outlets. The big companies can make every out of print recording available, but they choose not. I know converting analogue sourced material takes time and cost money. I also know that every catalogue recording would sell very little if at all.
    Much as I prefer to have original copies of my favorite music it gets old having to buy something from ebay and wait until it gets here. Then I have to find time to convert it to digital. I would love to be able to buy just the songs I’m looking for and have them downloaded to my computer and then to a cd or ipod. The majors current catalogue options are pitiful. How many rehashed hits compilations are needed? Many times the key tracks or minor hits are overlooked. And I won’t get into vinyl only b-sides.
    People do have money to buy music. Sometimes it’s very difficult to find the music you want not just what is offered.

  3. Anthony J says:

    Lets face it people need to buy the music so the artist can make a living.

  4. Brian Rawlings says:

    LimeWire certainly deserves to be shut down. That said, the RIAA must step very lightly here. They should take the database and use it for the greater good. They will have valuable information on consumer habits, favorites, internet access, preferred media players, computer types, geographic location and demographics.

    They can either further alienate the music loving public or send them an invitation to enjoy some “legal” free music and a marketing message about their favorite band coming to town or another band they may enjoy as well.

    Let’s see if the old guard morons that got us into this mess can do anything right. So far they have botched every opportunity to help music with their litigious assault on their life’s blood, which of course only hurts the rank and file employees not the contract senior execs. Hmmm.

    The labels have a tough sell. They scream “artists must be paid for their art”, when they mean, “we must be paid for their art, then we’ll screw them (the artists) out of their money.” Free music doesn’t hurt artists nearly as much as it hurts suits. Labels are mad because the public has taken their place.

  5. Mooka says:

    In this country we have or should I say had a long tradition of copyright law. Have you ever heard of the “canary in the coal mine” syndrome? To have a whole generation of youth who believe you get “something” for NOTHING is absolutely insane!!! This is far more reaching than music p2p illegal downloading. Songwriters,labels,recording studio’s,etc. and there loved ones? This has had devastating consequences and because the illegal downloading culture does not see the real face of their actions they are numb and blind to the pain it has wreaked!! Really think about this as the years roll by!! I support any and all legal means of shutting down illegal downloading. I also support the reeducation and training that art is not a by product of a disposable culture but a true blood,sweat and tears intention to bring joy and happiness to peoples lives. To thrive as a culture the artists must be paid!!! The lack of respect and the lack of humility will carry over to any and all parts of a supposed civilized society!! It already has. If you haven’t been noticing then you should sit on the deck of the titanic and enjoy the icebergs. Am I uncool for not seeing the big picture? I can only pray and hope so. As Lenny Bruce once said “Blow Me” and thats for ya’ll who like to swim in the cold water. Hows that real estate career working out for ya? Label exec’s are not the problem just as wall street fucks are not the problem. It is our own lack of integrity and character that is at issue here.

  6. Dalton Priddy says:

    The only way for the copyright owners to get any compensation from the P2P entities will be to get congress to create and pass a IPRF Intellectual Property Royalty Fund. This is a fund that all IP Internet service providers must pay based on the number of users. Verizon, Comcast, Earthlink, AT&T, and the thousands of others have been given a free pass by disclaiming liability, “Looking the other Way”, while they collect billions of dollars in profits. A new mp3xx format will not stop it, nor will new laws, China anyone?. We have created new monopolies that now control most everything we touch, see, hear, feel, smell and breathe, even drink. Only YOU the creative industry has the power to take this last stand battle to its final stage. If every copyright holder on the planet boycotts by not providing, submitting, performing for 30 days, maybe then we can wakeup those in D.C. The joking and rambling with never ending solutions must stop. This is F***ing Serious.

  7. Mooka says:

    I agree with Dalton’s comment that the only way to get something back is to shut down IP. Study the French earlier this year. They did shut down the IP’s there for a minute but special interests dissuaded it for the time being. Nicolas Sarkozy has balls. Barrack likes to have Sir Paul McCartney over for dinner but I ask, does he? I like the fund idea but I don’t like the idea that it could be administered by anything but maybe N.A.R.S. and or non profit agencys who represent the rank and file end recipients. Thanks for listening.

  8. Matt says:

    First off, good riddance to the demise of Slime Wire. I just wish that the people taking all this music from the labels understood the long term effects of their actions. Sure the major labels are a bunch of douche bags in their ivory towers and the major bands don’t need that money but those companies use that money to gamble on the lesser bands. When those parasites steal their music in droves they are effectively limiting the risks that those labels are willing to take. This will only lead to a shit ton of mediocre bands in an attempt to please everyone. Ok, that may be a bit bleak and over stated but when they download they certainly are think more about the fact that U2 doesn’t need the money and not the little guy that won’t get a chance due to their laziness and cheapness.

  9. Gordon says:

    I agree with Dalton that the laws need to be changed to provide for some middle ground on this iissue. The problem with Court decisions on these types of issues is that they can be reversed and overturned from one court or from one year to another.

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