The world of pirated music and movie downloads is pretty murky, and one-by-one all the major players are being brought down by the music and film industry.
Back in the day, the daddy of them all Napster was forced to go legal followed by services like The Pirate Bay and Kazaa. The most recent company to fall under the sword of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is Limewire which was effectively shut down last October and has now agreed an out-of-court settlement of $105 million with 13 record labels including four of the major labels. The action started out back in 2006 shortly after RIAA had settled with Kazaa for $115 million. In May of last year a court ruled that Limewire and its creator Mark Gorton had infringed copyright and aided others in downloading pirated music. A subsequent ruling in October led to the closure of the service.
“This hard fought victory is reason for celebration by the entire music community, its fans and the legal services that play by the rules. As the court heard during the last two weeks, LimeWire wreaked enormous damage on the music community, helping contribute to thousands of lost jobs and fewer opportunities for aspiring artists," said Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America said in a statement. RIAA had initially claimed that it was owed over $1 billion in damages from Limewire.
However despite the courts ruling, the closure of the website and Limewire sending out an updated version of its software to stop people swapping files in this way, a pirate edition of Limewire has been produced that leaves the service intact. I wonder will Limewire sue the people who created the pirate edition of its software?