ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Limewire Illegal?

Updated on August 14, 2010

Author's note: Recently, Limewire has faced legal action in court from several music and recording industry leaders. This article aims to answer an extremely common question: is Limewire itself illegal?

What Is Limewire

Limewire, if you aren't familiar with it, is a piece of computer software that is essentially a peer to peer downloading utility. Limewire is similar in purpose to many other programs such as Frostwire, BitTorrent, Bearshare, etc. All of these programs work similarly by allowing users to download files from a remote computer. The more people that have downloaded the file, the easier it is for new downloaders to download since he or she can then connect to several computers and download a piece of that same file, which is later pieced back together.

What You Can Find on Limewire

Limewire does not remove (typically) any content. Since the program works by displaying files from users, there is no central server needed to host the files. Almost any kind of file can be found on Limewire. This includes music files, videos, documents, and pictures. However, Limewire is most well-known for the amount of music that can be found when using it.

Legal or Illegal?

Limewire, in terms of legality, is kind of like a gun. Guns themselves, when properly bought and used, are not illegal. However, some of the things you can do with a gun are illegal. It really depends on what and how you use Limewire.

  • Simply downloading the program, Limewire, is not illegal
  • Downloading documents, pictures, video, or music that is NOT copyright is not illegal
  • Downloading music that is copyrighted is illegal
  • Downloading a program that is open source or freely distributable is not illegal
  • Downloading a program such as Photoshop or The Sims is illegal

Downloading Vs Uploading

Many people don't realize that they can actually get in more legal trouble for the things they unknowingly share than the things they download. Let's pretend you legally downloaded and paid for music from Amazon. You then save that song to your computer. Later, you open Limewire. What you don't realize is that Limewire tends to scan your computer for files that it thinks you should share. Without you even knowing it, people can connect to your computer and download that music file. It's actually more illegal to host a file than it is to download it. In fact, the recording industry is more actively suing hosts than downloaders.

You can change your settings in Limewire so that it doesn't automatically share your files. You should make it so that no files are shared at all.

Limewire is likely going to be shut down because of the fact that the music companies allege they didn't do enough to stop piracy. However, unless you are downloading or sharing illegal files, Limewire itself is not illegal.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • xnotion profile imageAUTHOR

      xnotion 

      8 years ago

      Hi Dolores,

      I agree, Limewire and music sharing in general are confusing. But you are absolutely right, it is just plain creepy that it scans your files. Just imagine if you have private documents in the folders it scans!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      The whole music sharing thing confuses me. I have a friend to gets some stuff off Limewire, but most of the artists are dead. So they are not missing out on anything. But the idea that Limewire scans your files is pretty creepy.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)