LimeWire squeezed out of existence

File-sharing site LimeWire has finally thrown in the towel and has closed down, following a ruling from a New York judge.

The Lime Group received a permanent injunction from US district judge Kimba Wood yesterday. Its site now displays a message reminiscent of the lines imposed by a stern teacher:

“This is an official notice that LimeWire is under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software. Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal,” it reads.

The injunction is the latest, and probably last, step in a long-running copyright infringement lawsuit from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), filed all the way back in 2006.

In May, the RIAA won summary judgment, and filed for a permanent injunction which has now been put into force.

“Naturally, we’re disappointed with this turn of events. We are extremely proud of our pioneering history and have, for years, worked hard to bridge the gap between technology and content rights holders,” says Limewire CEO Gorge Searle in a statement.

“However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software.”

There will be a hearing to set damages in January, which could see LimeWire handing over as much as $1 billion.

But while it may be the end for LimeWire, the Lime Group still isn’t giving up. Searle says his team is working on a new music service, saying the company now plans to try and work with the music industry.

Lime has apparently been talking to all four of the major labels behind the RIAA. It’s been working on a legal music service, Spoon, for some months, but has found music publishers just a tad reluctant to play ball – we wonder why.