Saturday, August 6, 2022

‘What could go wrong’: The internet gets nostalgic as pioneering piracy site LimeWire reemerges as an NFT marketplace

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LimeWire shut down in 2010 after a legal battle with the Record Industry Association of America for copyright infringement

LimeWire left the internet in parts after the former peer-to-peer filesharing service – notorious for illegal downloads and destroying host PCs – remodeled itself to sell NFTs.

LimeWire shut down in 2010 after a legal battle with the Record Industry Association of America for copyright infringement. Now, however, it’s returned in a very different form — an NFT marketplace for arts and entertainment. A new brand campaign is now heralding her comeback with a nostalgic ad offering a throwback to the early 2000s when she rose to fame.


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The ad shows a boy and girl rushing home from school to download a song from LimeWire – namely Soulja Boy’s 2007 song “Crank That” – before dancing to the number in a bedroom. Some 15 years later, the adult couple maintains their enthusiasm for music. They rediscover LimeWire as adults and end up dancing to the same track they loved as kids. “LimeWire is back,” proclaims the spot.

“Our ad is both a love letter to the 2000s and a celebration of the new LimeWire,” said Florestan Rösemann, the company’s global creative director, in a statement. “Just like the characters in the commercial, many of us were teenagers when LimeWire existed and are now grown up to see the brand’s relaunch.”

However, netizens couldn’t help but mock the irony of a former piracy website that sold NFTs.

“Guess which turn-of-the-century file-sharing platform has resurrected? That’s right, Limewire. The company that used to exist to facilitate the sharing of illegally uploaded MP3s is now rebranding as the NFT marketplace. What could go wrong? ‘ wrote one Twitter user.

“Hard to find anything funnier than the notoriously unreliable piracy service Limewire becoming a scam marketplace,” added another.

“Thank god Limewire is coming back. I’m sick of how well the computers work in my life,” quipped someone else.

“LimeWire literally murdered my computer back then. I don’t want any parts of it lol,” read one comment.

“LimeWire is back, but it’s for NFTs. RadioShack is back, but it’s bitcoin or something. Santa is real, but he’s dumping crude oil in Lake Michigan,” another offered

LimeWire was founded in 2000 by former Wall Street trader Mark Gorton and is now owned by brothers Paul and Julian Zehetmayr. The brand’s new identity as a marketplace for digital collectibles hopes to make NFTs more accessible and common by offering users the ability to purchase tokens with credit cards instead of cryptocurrency. “We want to bring the NFT world into the mainstream and to people who aren’t currently engaged in it,” Ivis Buric, LimeWire’s chief communications officer, said in a statement, adding, “NFTs aren’t just another buzzword – they can bring benefits to people’s lives.”


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With its new model, LimeWire hopes to offer artists and creators an additional revenue stream. The company announced in May a partnership with Universal Music Group to enable artists to sell various types of NFT projects and digital content, from original songs to visual artwork, backstage clips and other experiences that is a LimeWire exclusive. Some artists who have already signed up to release NFTs through LimeWire include Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker and musicians Nicky Jam, Brandy and Dillon Francis, AdWeek reported.

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