updated 03:10 pm EDT, Wed August 15, 2007
LimeWire goes legal
LimeWire, more famous for its peer-to-peer sharing software, has declared its intentions to go into legitimate music sales. In keeping with a growing trend, files from the company will be DRM-free; it will also be encoded at 256Kbps, a quality higher than the vast majority of stores. Backing the launch will be tracks from two different sources: indie label distrubtor IRIS, and Nettwerk, a label home to artists such as the Avril Lavigne, Delerium and Sarah McLachlan.
LimeWire's venture mimics the path of Napster, which also began with a sharing application, but made the leap into music sales to maintain its existence. The company is still struggling for marketshare though, being utterly dwarfed by Apple's iTunes Store, which is the third-largest vendor of music in the United States. LimeWire may also have difficulty in securing more labels for its storefront, as it was sued just last year by labels including EMI, Sony BMG and Universal. No timeframe has been announced for an official launch.