The file-sharing world came under a bit of a shock last week when LimeWire effectively shut down. While the move should have come as no surprise to anyone, LimeWire has lost several lawsuits and was ordered to shut down previously, the story proved quite popular.
The fact that millions of users suddenly found themselves unable to download their favorite music might have contributed to the popularity of the story, but it also helped a bunch of peer-2-peer applications get discovered.
Several P2P applications, alternatives to LimeWire to a degree, saw a big boost in downloads, according to the TorrentFreak blog which covers the file-sharing and P2P world.
Apparently, all the app makers reported a growth in the number of downloads, but only a few would go on record and confirm this.
MP3Rocket, for example, says it saw an increase in the number of people downloading the application. MP3Rocket is a Gnutella client, just like LimeWire was, but it says that it will transform itself strictly into a YouTube video to MP3 converter.
BearShare, another P2P app, was the only one to provide more detailed numbers. However, BearShare is now a "legal" application after losing a case filed by the RIAA.
Downloads of BearShare increased eight times the day after LimeWire was effectively shut down, growing from about 8,000 a day to 62,400 a day.
Other alternatives to LimeWire, likely saw an increase in download and traffic. Depriving millions of people of their downloads meant that a lot of people were looking to alternatives. While some of them may have settled on very similar applications, some may have came across better alternatives like BitTorrent.
In this sense, the LimeWire shut down most likely proved very beneficial to the file-sharing community at large since it pushed people to seek better, more modern alternatives which, in most cases, are harder to track or shut down by the content industry.