LimeWire to close online music store on December 31

Legitimate offering affected by ruling covering p2p software

LimeWire will close for good on New Years Eve as it will shut its legitimate online music store permanently.

In October, a US Judge found LimeWire's peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing program guilty of assisting users in committing copyright infringement "on a massive scale".

The service was ordered to stop distributing and supporting the file-sharing software immediately, which meant LimeWire's online store that was launched in June this year and uses the company's P2P software, was also affected. LimeWire has already stopped new users signing up for accounts, although existing users can continue to use their accounts until December 31.

"As a result of our current legal situation, we have no choice but to wind down LimeWire Store operations," a LimeWire spokesperson said.

The LimeWire case will resume in January 2011, when damages will be assessed. The statutory minimum for music copyright infringement is US$150,000 per infringement, and the damages assessed may total up to as much as (or possibly more than) $1bn.

See also: LimeWire liable for P2P copyright infringement

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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