Limewire Readies Paid Download Store; Initial Outline Sketched

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Leading P2P application Limewire is now preparing a paid download store, according to an announcement issued Tuesday.

The file-sharing application, run by Lime Wire LLC, will position the store as a stand-alone, web-based outlet.  The company will offer links to the store from its ultra-popular file-sharing application, and eventually layer the paid downloads into P2P results sets.  “Subsequent releases will enable users to browse and purchase music directly from within the Limewire program,” the company promised.

Limewire did not offer a concrete release date, though the announcement alluded to something imminent.  The store will broker in MP3s, and offer a-la-carte or subscription buying options.  Already, IRIS Distribution and Nettwerk Music Group have licensed their content to the play.  “We are delighted to collaborate with these forward-thinking music companies and sell their authorized content through Limewire,” said Jesse Rubenfeld, chief financial officer at Lime Wire LLC.

Other content holders are certain to jump aboard, though it remains unclear whether majors EMI and Universal Music Group will entertain the possibility.  Currently, Lime Wire is in the midst of a protracted legal battle with the RIAA, one focused on copyright infringement.  Limewire is now inviting interested content holders to contact them at storecontent@limewire.com.