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Limewire Toasted: Begs RIAA for Mercy After Total Defeat

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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.

SlimeWire

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!!!

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