‘What could go wrong’: Internet gets nostalgic as pioneering hacking site LimeWire resurfaces as NFT marketplace

LimeWire quit the internet in installments after the defunct peer-to-peer file-sharing service – notorious for illegal downloads and destruction of host PCs – reorganized to sell NFTs.

LimeWire was shut down in 2010 following a legal battle with the Record Industry Association of America over copyright infringement charges. However, it has now returned in a completely different form – an NFT marketplace for art and entertainment. A new brand campaign today ushers in its comeback with a nostalgic ad that offers a throwback to the early 2000s where it gained notoriety.

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The advert shows a boy and girl rushing home from school to download a LimeWire song – namely Soulja Boy’s 2007 track “Crank That” – before dancing to the number in a bedroom. About 15 years later, the adult couple retain their enthusiasm for music. They rediscover LimeWire as adults and end up dancing to the same tune they loved when they were little. “LimeWire is back,” the spot announces.

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“Our ad is both a love letter to the 2000s and a celebration of the new LimeWire,” the company’s global creative director, Florestan Rösemann, said in a statement. “Like the characters in the ad, many of us were teenagers when LimeWire was first around and are now adults to see the relaunch of the brand.”

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However, netizens couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of an old hacking website selling NFTs.

“Guess which turn-of-the-century go-to file-sharing platform has risen again? That’s right, Limewire. The company that once existed to enable the sharing of illegally downloaded MP3s is now rebranding itself as NFT Marketplace. What could go wrong?” wrote one Twitter user.

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“Hard to find anything funnier than the notoriously unreliable hacking service Limewire becoming a market for a scam,” added another.

“Thank goodness Limewire is coming back. I’m sick of how well the computers in my life are working,” someone else joked.

“LimeWire literally murdered my computer back then. I don’t want any part of that lol,” one comment read.

“LimeWire is back but it’s for NFTs. RadioShack is back but it’s bitcoin or something. Santa is real but he’s dumping crude oil in Lake Michigan,” another offered.

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LimeWire, founded in 2000 by former Wall Street trader Mark Gorton, is now owned by brothers Paul and Julian Zehetmayr. The brand’s new identity as a digital collectibles marketplace hopes to make NFTs more accessible and mainstream by offering users the ability to purchase tokens with credit cards instead of cryptocurrency. “We want to bring the NFT world to the general public and to people who aren’t in this space right now,” LimeWire communications director Ivis Buric said in a statement, adding, “NFTs aren’t just another buzzword, they can bring benefits to people’s lives.

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With its new model, LimeWire hopes to provide an additional revenue stream for artists and creators. The company announced a partnership with Universal Music Group in May to allow artists to sell different types of NFT projects and digital content, from original songs to visual artwork, behind-the-scenes clips and other LimeWire-exclusive experiences. Some artists who have already signed on to release NFTs via LimeWire include Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and musicians Nicky Jam, Brandy and Dillon Francis, AdWeek reported.

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Disclaimer: This is based on sources and we have not been able to independently verify this information.

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