The music industry lawyers just put another notch on their wall. After ten years of existence, peer-to-peer music sharing service LimeWire is joining Napster, Kazaa, and all the rest. It will abide by a court-ordered injunction today and begin to disable the file-sharing and music-searching features of its P2P software. Years of legal battles and the prospects of paying astronomical fines finally did the service in. We are putting it in the deadpool.
The company, LimeCompany, will soldier on. Transitioning to a music store or legal streaming music service, however, will be tough. It fought a good fight, and lasted longer than most other P2P services. Partly that was because there was usually a bigger P2P sharing service freaking out the music industry. Once the lawyers got rid of those, they finally got around to LimeWire. Still, it took them the better part of a decade to get LimeWire to comply with an injunction.
As far as the Internet goes, the music industry is basically organized around litigation on one side, and extracting maximum licensing fees from music startups that try to play by the rules on the other. If you want to understand exactly how difficult it is for a music startup to survive, check out this talk by Dalton Caldwell, founder of now-defunct imeem. The lawyers won, but their ships are still sinking.