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Is Limewire Legal

Updated on March 8, 2010

So, Is Limewire Legal?

This is a question I've been asked a lot, so I thought it might be a good idea to go out and answer it.  There is quite a lot of gray area in the subject, so stay with me on this.  For those of you unsure what exactly Limewire is, it's a downloading service based on Gnutella technologies.  It allows people to upload files to a central server, and then people are allowed to download those files from that central server.  It also mixes in peer-to-peer networking, like BitTorrent, to ensure faster speeds.

Usage

So, is Limewire legal to "use"?  Yes.  In the United States, you can download it and install it and even search with it on your computer without having violated any sort of laws.  However, the controversy sets in when you have to actually download a file.  Downloading a copyrighted music or video (or text) file is illegal, since you do not have permission of the original author to do so.  However, there are also many legal downloads available on Limewire.  So, if you're not sure if something is copyrighted or not, be careful if you don't want to break the law!  Limewire is legally very dangerous for people who don't know what they're downloading.

These downloads shown here would be illegal, unless you already own the music...
These downloads shown here would be illegal, unless you already own the music...

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    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I started getting viruses through Limewire so I stopped using them. Interesting.