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LimeWire is relaunching…as an NFT marketplace

LimeWire is relaunching…as an NFT marketplace

Remember all those hours spent on LimeWire, sorting through “free” albums and downloading 2000s cult films? Well, the file-sharing service is making a return – only this time, as an NFT marketplace.

The defunct platform is getting a crypto makeover, thanks to a pair of entrepreneurs in Austria who have just bought the rights to LimeWire. Paul and Julian Zehetmayr will be relaunching under a new company, LimeWire GmbH, with no affiliation to LimeWire’s previous team. According to Bloomberg, the brothers are hoping the “iconic name” of the platform will evoke nostalgia (the unmistakably millenial/Gen-Z emotion).

“LimeWire will not be an alternative to streaming platforms, but rather an additional channel for artists to sell exclusive music and art directly to collectors and to engage with their most loyal community of fans,” Julian says, highlighting their aim “to give artists full flexibility and control when it comes to their content.”

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As a platform that housed many an illegal download, LimeWire was a point of controversy for the music industry and its artists.

LimeWire was shut down back in 2010 after a long legal conflict with the Recording Industry Association of America over copyright infringement, resulting in a “permanent injunction” against the company. The case ended with a $105 million settlement outside of court between former LimeWire CEO Mark Gorton and various record companies.

The makers behind the all-new LimeWire are aware of the controversial past of the company, but are sure the nostalgia factor compounded with the crypto foundation will breathe new life into LimeWire. They have put safety features in place, including the incorporation of stringent anti-money laundering checks and accountancy firm EY for vetting all activities.

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The site will launch in May, and there is currently a waitlist to be notified about its debut. Sales will take place in USD, with no crypto wallet prerequisite – so essentially, collectibles can be bought directly via credit card, bank transfer and other gateways.

“We want to remove all those obstacles and make it easy for people to participate, while at the same time offering an exciting platform for crypto natives,” says co-CEO Paul.

The founders are working with artists to create exclusive content, from one-of-a-kind nonfungible tokens to larger collections. There will also be an emphasis on community and communication, with new ways for artists to interact with their fans being explored.

Welcome back, LimeWire. Kind of.

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