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LimeWire was 'child porn trap, says lawyer

ConsumerNews
, 15 Nov 2010News

Closing down peer-to-peer file sharing network LimeWire has saved many of its erstwhile users from child pornography charges, a lawyer said.

Noting that, on October 26, U.S. federal district court judge Kimba Wood ordered that LimeWire discontinue its popular file sharing service, citing a "massive scale of infringement" of copyright law, Arizona-based criminal attorney David Michael Cantor contends that while Judge Wood's ruling has been "greeted unfavourably" by the majority of LimeWire users, they should instead be breathing a huge sigh of relief. Cantor contends that any one of them could've been the next target of a U.S. federal investigation, possibly leading to criminal prosecution not for copyright infringement, but rather for possession and distribution of child pornography.

Mr. Cantor observes that the open nature of the LimeWire service allowed anyone to upload any kind of file they wanted to share, with any name or description of the file that they like, leaving users of the service horribly vulnerable to dangerous, deliberately mislabeled files that could contain child pornography.

Cantor describes a hypothetical scenario whereby: "Somebody will go on looking for a music video and then off to the side they'll see something that says, 'pthc'. That means 'Pre-teen hardcore', but they don't understand that when they click on it. And now they've just
downloaded and shared child pornography, and have now flagged themselves and the FBI or local authorities may come and arrest them and seize their computer."

Cantor says that over the past few years he has represented many clients charged with crimes involving LimeWire and child pornography, and comments that, "LimeWire is insidious. They should have policed themselves better and gotten this stuff off of their network long ago.
They've created more sex offenders in the prison system than any other site or service out there, all because of stupid mistakes and curiosity. We should all be glad that such a poorly managed and dangerous service is being shut down."

David Michael Cantor is an Arizona criminal defence attorney who was voted a Top 100 trial lawyer by the American Trial Lawyers Association in 2007. His web site is here.

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