Limewire gets two-week stay of execution

File-sharing service Limewire has been given two weeks to file papers supporting its legal argument that it shouldn't be shut down.

Recording industry lawyers are insisting that the P2P network does irreparable damage to the bottom line of its clients every day that is allowed to operate and that it should be immediately killed off, despite a January court date.

Limewire says it's nothing more than a fancy search engine and doesn't do anything worse than the likes of Google when it comes to its wayward users stealing copyrighted material.

A judge ruled last month that Limewire was guilty of inducing copyright infringement by millions of users who downloaded a sample of 30 specific songs for free.

Record labels are currently trying to add thousands more songs to the list, and as any damages are likely to be multiplied by the number of songs involved, general consensus has it that the eventual damages could be as high as $1 billion.

Limewire's lawyers are quite keen to restrict the ruling to the original 30 songs for obvious reasons. Even so, the court case is expected to be terminal for the 10-year-old P2P pioneer.

The music industry in one form or another has tried to ban sheet music, magnetic tape, compact cassettes, FM radio and CDs in the past. Attempts to ban file sharing in its many forms are expected to have about the same affect.