December 4, 2010 / 1:29 AM / in 7 years

Limewire music-sharing service to close December 31

NEW YORK (Reuters) - LimeWire -- one of the world’s biggest outlets for people to share music, movies and TV shows free of charge over the Internet -- said it would be shutting down by the end of the year and closing its sole office in New York.

In October, a U.S. federal judge granted the music industry’s request to shut down the popular LimeWire file-sharing service, which had been found liable for copyright infringement.

“As a result of our current legal situation, we have no choice but to wind down LimeWire Store operations,” LimeWire said in a statement on Friday.

“Despite our dedication and efforts, December 31, 2010, will mark the day when LimeWire Store shuts its virtual doors.”

LimeWire also said its plan to bring a separate, legal music service to market had been canceled.

Founded in 2000 by Mark Gorton, LimeWire has been a thorn in the side of record companies because millions of fans used it to download music for free.

The music industry blames online and physical piracy as the primary reasons for declining music sales.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim, Jonathan Stempel and Yinka Adegoke

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