A Gen-Z guide to Limewire

A Gen-Z guide to Limewire
LimeWire Partners With Universal Music Group for Music NFT Licensing

Spotify and Apple Music may be the go-to streaming platforms right now – but during the early 2000s, it was Limewire.

Launched in 2000 by Mark Gorton, a former Wall Street trader, it was, by far, the most famous and notorious filesharing platform that gave people access to millions of free songs, videos, images and software. Sometimes illegally.

There's no denying that millennials loved Limewire.

In 2006, LimeWire reportedly had four million active users per day with straightforward navigation: search and click. That being said, there was almost no control, and users could access random servers worldwide. This opened computers to viruses and hackers – every download came with the gamble of killing your PC.

By far, the worst thing about Limewire was the risk of unintentionally being in possession of illegal content. And while Limewire tried to filter out certain content, innocent users would download an album that could open up to something much more sinister.

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Do You Remember LIMEWIRE?

For instance, Matthew White admitted to looking for a Girls Gone Wild clip (a perfectly legal act) but instead found himself opening up child porn, as per The Chetson Firm. He deleted the file instantly; however, a year later, FBI agents showed up at his home to search for his computer.

LimeWire was forced to shut down after a long legal battle in 2010 when creator Gorton was hit with copyright infringement charges.

In 2006, the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) went after the platform and claimed that every copyright violation had cost them $150,000. They wanted Limewire to pay up $75 trillion, an amount that a federal judge called "absurd."

The case ended with a $105 million settlement between the CEO and record companies outside of court.

Limewirehas since relaunched with a Gen Z twist, combining crypto and millennial nostalgia.

For legal reasons, the platform won't be returning as the early 2000s piracy icon that elder millennials know and love. Instead, it's leaving illegal file sharing and PC viruses in the past and rebirthing as an NFT marketplace.

Users will create, buy and trade music-related non-fungible tokens (NFTs) such as graphics, merchandise, songs and exclusive backstage experiences.

Austrian brothers Paul and Julian Zehetmayr are well aware of controversial ties with the name. Still, they aim to bring the platform back to life with safety features such as anti-money laundering checks and accountancy firm EY monitoring activity.

"The pros definitely outweigh any of the controversy," they told Bloomberg.

Intrigued? You can join the Limewire waiting list here.

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