Popular online file-sharing service LimeWire was shut down by a US federal court on Tuesday following a lawsuit filed by the music industry.
The move came a little more than five months after a US judge ruled in favor of 13 music companies in a copyright infringement and unfair competition case brought against LimeWire.
LimeWire.com featured a legal notice on its home page on Tuesday stating it was "under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software."
The legal notice linked to the court order from US District Court Judge Kimba Wood ordering the closure of the service.
LimeWire chief executive George Searle said in a statement he was "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," Searle said. "However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software."
Searle thanked users of the service and said "our team of technologists and music enthusiasts are creating a completely new music service that puts you back at the center of your digital music experience."
"We'll be sharing more details about our new service and look forward to bringing it to you in the future," he said.
The 13 music companies filed their complaint against LimeWire in 2006 and Judge Wood ruled in their favor in May. In June, eight members of the National Music Publishers' Association filed a separate copyright suit against LimeWire.
LimeWire software was released in August 2000 and uses peer-to-peer, or P2P, technology to allow users to share music or other files over the Internet.
LimeWire is owned by the Lime Group, a New York-based company.
© 2010 AFP