The corporate music industry would choose to have people believe that shutting down a virtual file sharing service is a good thing and that by doing so the royalties and rights due the artists who create and perform music are better protected. Evidently some folks in our legal system concur with this opinion since on October 26, 2010 LimeWire was court ordered to basically shut down.
However, I would argue the service that LimeWire provided was a client based transport service not unlike the old LANtastic network which made peer to peer file sharing popular in a DOS and Microsoft Windows environment and ultimately extended their product to include OS/2, Windows NT, Novell Netware, and the TCP protocol. The simple advent of web based browsing took this peer to peer connectivity a step further by simplifying technology to allow most people with computer access to experience internet based content.
If we are truly searching for an entity to blame for musicians and the entire recording industry losing control of their copyrights, we need look no further than the recording companies themselves.
Drivers who break the speed limit on our highway system cannot blame their misfortune on the fact that roads and fast cars exist. The same should be true for recording companies who through their own decision to release their content on easily copied media. They should not blame the network.
The RIAA should file suit against themselves for allowing their products to be released in insecure format instead of placing the blame on a P2P service. If the corporations that record and distribute content actually cared about the integrity of their artists they would have made duplication by individuals less efficient and more difficult. However these corporations quickly embraced distribution platforms know to all to be insecure and easy for even a novice computer user to copy.
LimeWire is not the problem. LimeWire is actually the wet dream of the music industry if, and only if, the RIAA would implement secure standards and platforms to make copyright violations difficult.
The shut down of LimeWire is misguided, unethical, and targets exactly the wrong group of people. The major record labels and the RIAA should be the groups brought up in charges by the artists themselves.