6 November, 2010
Interestingly, last week we talked about viruses – this weeks’ article is about the death of LimeWire – a peer to peer source of music, movies and viruses. Firstly who is LimeWire? You could ask almost any teenager and get a curious smile and an accurate answer – LimeWire is (was) the largest file sharing entity on the Internet – offering free downloads of music and movies. How did they store all of this data? Peer to peer means that the end user (in this case millions of home users) had music files in a shared folder on their PC which they shared out to other LimeWire users anywhere on the Internet. This meant that LimeWire users were sharing their existing music as well as being able to download music that they didn’t yet have from other LimeWire users. This was all organised with the latest programming so that you were downloading from the fastest source and it could even be set to do this automatically. There were two things wrong with this – firstly because of the sharing software & settings, this was a source of viruses for many unsuspecting users – and secondly it was illegal. Most music and movies titles have copyrights and this activity breeched those rights – resulting in the original artists and music companies not receiving the royalties that they were otherwise entitled to. So after a lengthy court battle the American legal system has said NO to LimeWire and closed it down. What implications will this have? Well LimeWire is not the only peer to peer software around so other software titles will just become more popular – until they also get shutdown. Personally I am happy about the move as all too often we see work PC’s bought in for us to remove viruses off because someone has installed LimeWire. In future we may see more of a push to clean up other peer to peer file sharing – what we really need is more of a push to clean up the Internet in general – it is such a great resource as well as such a bane for so many people. Keep in mind that sites like iTunes are where you pay around a dollar for each song are totally legal and have good security to guard you against viruses. It may not be free but the cost of removing viruses or paying possible copyright infringement fines may have stretched or even broken the budget. So stick to the right side of the law on this one & keep both your PC and your budget safer. Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.