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January 4, 2005

HQ: New York, NY
Founded: June, 2000
Management: CEO is Mark Gorton. Has snazzy degrees from Yale, Stanford, and holds the coveted MBA from Harvard. Previously worked at Credit Suisse First Boston as a fixed-income proprietary trader. CTO/COO Greg Bildson has a background in developing software for the financial services industry.
Investors: LimeWire is part of a group of companies funded by the Lime Group. Financing details are not available.
Business Model: Free file sharing software. Company makes money by selling ads and by offering an ad-free version of the LimeWire program (LimeWire PRO) which offers technical support and some added features. Company claims to offer faster downloads than Kazaa.
Competitors: Kazaa, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Grokster , Morpheus
Dirt: You can’t talk about the prospects of latter-day Napsters like LimeWire without mentioning the looming shadows of the MPAA and the RIAA. These two industry groups have been waging a long battle in the courts to crush the pesky file sharing start-ups. An August 2004 court decision is currently protecting the file sharing companies on the grounds that they are not responsible for the actions of individual users. We’re not legal scholars here at the a:c, but we wonder how long this ruling will hold up. And even if it does hold up, look for the MPAA and the RIAA to use crafty legal strategies to exploit loopholes.

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