Less than a month after being left for dead when a federal judge ordered it to shut down its servers (full story here
), Limewire has returned to haunt the RIAA once more. In a feat of dark computer wizardry, unpaid programmers dedicated to the cause of filesharing have released a new-and-improved "pirate edition" of the software. According to an anonymous source speaking to Torrentfreak
, "Limewire Pirate Edition should work better than the last functioning version of LimeWire (5.5.10), and it should keep working for longer." According to Torrentfreak's own tests, the software is indeed functional.
Of course, with Limewire's servers downed, this version must be procured through... another filesharing service such as a torrent.
We don't think it should come as a surprise to anyone that Limewire was resurrected in a more blatantly illegitimate form. While the underlying network was damaged intentionally in the shutdown, it is still basically untouchable by lawsuits in its resurrected form — which was its initial appeal, lest we forget.
For the poor RIAA, there's something of a silver lining here — since Limewire is somewhat dated, no one thought they really did that much damage in the first place by shutting it down, and its resurrection is mostly a moral victory for filesharers. They have plenty of other options anyways, with torrents currently being the most popular one for the tech savvy. The fact that these networks are now being used to distribute Limewire basically proves that shutting it down meant almost nothing (and is sort of meta if you think about it).
At this point the RIAA should be taking comfort in the fact that they can't really lose too much more face. Maybe one day, the RIAA will figure out that they are facing a dedicated and numerous foe with technology on their side and decide its a good time to negotiate rather than strongarm. Until then, we can all, no matter what our views on filesharing, enjoy a good laugh at at all the pirate jokes.
Seriously though, who uses Limewire anymore? -peter menniti