After a four year legal battle with the RIAA, a federal court in New York has issued a “permanent injunction” against peer-to-peer file-sharing website LimeWire. In other words, LimeWire is being forced to shut down. Judge Kimba Wood found that LimeWire was liable for enhancing copyright infringement, causing great harm to the record labels. LimeWire  and founder Mark Gorton will now face a trial for damages they have caused to the RIAA in January, 2011.

Following the injunction, the RIAA released the following statement:

“For the better part of the last decade, LimeWire and Gorton have violated the law. The court has now signed an injunction that will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that LimeWire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely.

In January, the court will conduct a trial to determine the appropriate level of damages necessary to compensate the record companies for the billions and billions of illegal downloads that occurred through the LimeWire system.”

A spokeswoman for LimeWire stated about the injunction that “While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward. We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future.”

This certainly is a major victory for the RIAA. Though LimeWire has been making efforts to become a legit music store in the past few years, the P2P app has been one of the most popular sources for file sharing since its creation in 2000. Granted, there are still many other file-sharing services out there, but the injunction takes out one of the main contributors. Plus, you can almost guarantee that this will create better results for the RIAA than suing the pants off of every teenage downloader.

[via and]