Less than a month after its "permanent shut down," LimeWire has been resurrected by an anonymous dev team -- and it's better and more powerful than before. Or, well, something like that.
According to the site TorrentFreak, a "secret dev team" stayed loyal to the Gnutella-based file-sharing client, even after its creators closed their doors indefinitely, thanks to that pesky little thing known as copyright law.
An anonymous source gave TorrentFreak the following quote:
"On October 26 the remaining LimeWire developers were forced to shut down the company's servers and modify remote settings in the filesharing client to try to harm the Gnutella network. They were then laid off.
"Shortly after, a horde of piratical monkeys climbed aboard the abandoned ship, mended its sails, polished its cannons, and released it free to the community."
The new LimeWire, known as LimeWire Pirate Edition (LPE) is now circulating on download sites such as BitTorrent. Based on the LimeWire 5.6 beta (released earlier this year, before LimeWire's permanent shut-down), LPE has even been improved by its secret Frankensteins -- the Ask toolbar has been unbundled, all dependencies on LimeWire LLC's servers have been removed, all remote settings have been disabled, and all the features of LimeWire Pro have been activated for free.
According to the source, "the piratical monkeys are doing this for the benefit of the community" and so there is no adware or spyware on LPE.
LimeWire was officially shut down on October 26, after a federal judge found it guilty of assisting users in committing copyright infringement on a "massive scale." The shut-down was the culmination of a four-year suit against the company, brought by the RIAA on behalf of eight major music publishers. Federal Judge Kimba Wood found the company, LimeWire LLC, and its founder, Mark Gordon, liable for copyright infringement. The case resumes in January 2011, when damages -- expected to total at least $1 billion -- will be assessed.
I went ahead and downloaded LimeWire Pirate Edition for *ahem* research purposes, and can report that it appears to be working very smoothly. In the event that you, yourself, would like to do some research, you can download the client here (direct link).
LimeWire Pirate Edition is currently only available for Windows users.
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