File-sharing service LimeWire is being forced by a US federal court to shut down its core P2P sharing software, in a ruling that is sure to be seen as a victory for the music industry and the big record labels.

LimeWire is notoriously one of the major sources of freely-downloadable illegal music on the internet. LimeWire's client has been downloaded by hundreds of millions of users to date.

End of a P2P era

LimeWire has said that it will comply with a court injunction requiring the company to switch off "the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality" of its software.

LimeWire will stop offering its software for download immediately, in addition to disabling its software that users have already downloaded onto their PCs.

One source familiar with the company's plans explained further: "They've taken down the relay severs on the Gnutella network which the Limewire client uses to figure out which other p2p clients have what info on them."

New music service promised

LimeWire's demise reportedly will not (immediately) impact other open source P2Pclients on the Gnutella network such as FrostWire.

Lime Group, LimeWire's parent company, is planning to launch a new, legal music download service within the month. More on that when we get it.

A statement by music industry trade group RIAA outlines the case: "For the better part of the last decade, Limewire and Gorton have violated the law. The court has now signed an injunction that will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that Limewire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely.

"In January, the court will conduct a trial to determine the appropriate level of damages necessary to compensate the record companies for the billions and billions of illegal downloads that occurred through the Limewire system."

Via All Things Digital