LimeWire to Shut Down

LimeWire, the music file sharing service, apparently cost the music industry 'hundreds of millions' of dollars in revenue.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- LimeWire, a music file sharing service, was forced to shut down permanently after a federal judge in New York issued an injunction Tuesday. The company has been embroiled in a four-year legal battle with the Recording Industry Association of America, which said LimeWire has cost the music industry hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Judge Kimba Wood ordered

LimeGroup

, the company that operates the file sharing network, to "disable the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading...and/or all functionality" of the software.

The judge also ruled that LimeGroup founder Mark Gorton, a former investment banker, was personally responsible for committing copyright infringement, engaging in unfair competition and inducing copyright infringement.

In May, Wood made her original ruling that Limewire had committed copyright infringement, but Tuesday's decision sealed the company's fate for good.

The lawsuit marks the first case against a music sharing network since the Grokster decision in 2005 made it possible for music and movie companies to sue peer-to-peer file distributors.

Other popular file sharing services include

UTorrent

,

FrostWire

,

Shareaza

and

Ares

.

"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," LimeWire CEO George Searle said on the company's website. "However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software."

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

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