LimeWire, a former peer-to-peer file-sharing website, is making a comeback as a marketplace for non-fungible tokens.
The music sharing platform was forced to shut down in 2010 over a lengthy lawsuit filed by the Recording Industry Association of America alleging copyright violations. The then CEO of LimeWire, Mark Gorton, also had to pay $105 million as an out-of-court settlement with several record companies.
Now, more than a decade later, a pair of entrepreneurs from Austria will leverage the nostalgia associated with the platform and give it a crypto rebirth. Julian Zehetmayr, who bought the IP rights along with his brother Paul, told Bloomberg in an interview:
“It’s a very iconic name. Even if you look on Twitter today, there’s hundreds of people still being nostalgic about the name. Everybody connects it with music and we’re launching initially a very music-focused marketplace, so the brand was really the perfect fit for that with its legacy.”
Austrian brothers Julian and Paul Zehetmayr bought the intellectual property and related assets of the company throughout 2021, and have since been working on rebuilding the platform as ‘LimeWire GmbH,’ an NFT marketplace initially focusing on music-related collectibles such as
exclusive songs, merchandise, backstage content, and more.
The NFT marketplace is set to launch in May this year, and will have no affiliation with LimeWire’s former team. LimeWire will also launch a utility token, which will be sold to initial investors via a private sale. Holders of the LimeWire token will have governance and voting rights over the policies of the platform.
However, despite having a utility token, the NFT marketplace will largely function in a centralized manner. NFTs will be listed in US Dollars, rather than in cryptocurrencies, Julian told CNBC. He noted:
“The issue with the NFT market is that most platforms are decentralized. If you look at bitcoin, all the exchanges are making it really easy to buy, trade and sell bitcoin. There’s no one really doing the same in the NFT space.”
With a launch scheduled in May, the platform will seek to forge partnerships with the music industry and confer most of the power to artists over their content. LimeWire claims that it will give up to 90% of the proceeds from NFT sales directly to artists.