Lime Wire Wants to Play By the Rules

    October 10, 2008
    Chris Crum

Lime WireFile sharing outfit Lime Wire is looking to go the way of Napster, but in an even bigger way. As it continues to battle the RIAA in legal matters, independent labels are embracing the service as it strives to become legitimate.

Devin Leonard with Fortune reports that Lime Wire has attracted +1 Records with a campaign to promote the label’s band The Morning Benders, and sell its music through Lime Wire’s music download store, which was launched earlier this year. Independent label The Orchard has already been participating, also offering tracks in the Lime Wire Store.

But that’s only the beginning. Lime Wire is trying to get major labels on board (which will surely be no easy task for them since they have been practically bitter enemies) to launch a legitimate online music site that would serve as a giant search engine for music. Naturally MySpace Music comes to mind, and honestly makes Lime Wire’s plan seem not so far-fetched. Leonard writes:

Earlier this year, Universal was suing MySpace in federal court for copyright violations. Now the majors are joint venture partners in the social network’s new ad-supported free music service.

In the end, some would say, the future of Lime Wire and the big record labels, too, may boil down to this: Does the music industry want to embrace the future (or even the present) and work with its one-time adversaries like Lime Wire? Or would it rather go down fighting its last and most epic battle over copyright infringement in the digital age?

If you want to know my personal opinion, I think the recording industry will eventually cave and give in to more platforms for online music (even if not for Lime Wire in particular). I think we’re going to see more strides the way we’re seeing with video right now. They’re going to eventually realize that the piracy battle will never truly be won, and that they can make their money other ways by playing ball.