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12 years after closing shop, LimeWire is back to reckon with its controversial past—and pave a new path forward.

For the uninitiated, LimeWire was the go-to peer-to-peer file sharing service that dominated the early 2000s. Predating the all-access model of today's streaming services, the controversial platform was used as a workaround for music fans who didn't want to purchase individual songs or albums via iTunes and other digital music stores.

It was as simple as downloading and playing, though it did put even the most formidable antivirus software products through the wringer. LimeWire's reign effectively came to an end when successful lawsuits initiated by major record labels and music rights-holders resulted in a staggering $105 million in fines.

LimeWire's popularity established the brand as the "face" of the online music piracy era, a reputation it is forced to acknowledge head-on.

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Why now, you ask? LimeWire's new management evidently sees a viable path forward for the brand—as an NFT marketplace. Overall, Australian entrepreneurs Paul and Julian Zehetmayr are hoping to use the brand's recognition achieved in the piracy era to attract new users while also attempting to right the wrongs of its past, starting with getting artists paid this time around.

"LimeWire is returning as a platform for artists, not against them," CEO Julian Zehetmayr explained. "On LimeWire, the majority of the revenue will go directly to the artist, and we will be working with creators to allow full flexibility, ownership and control when it comes to their content."

You can join the waitlist for LimeWire's nascent NFT platform, which is expected to launch in May 2022, here. At the time of writing, over 500,000 people have signed up.


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