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Posted
29 February 2008 @ 2pm

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Limelight loses patent suit and might have to go dark

Update: Adam Curry says Podshow does have a contingency plan and that Limelight doesn’t expect to go black anytime soon.

Limelight NetworksAccording to the AP, Akamai Technologies has won a a patent suit against Limelight Networks. Apparently Limelight’s content delivery system was infringing upon one of Akamai’s patents.

Judging from the early reports on Silicon Alley Insider, besides being fined $45.5 million in damages, the judge might issue an injunction against Limelight:

If the verdict holds up, it would be devastating for Limelight, whose shares are down almost 40% in afternoon trading. Last year the company lost $24 million on $66 million of revenue. And if the judge issues an injunction against Limelight, it might have to shut down its network.

Normally this wouldn’t be something very interesting to me, but Podshow, Adam Curry’s somewhat infamous podcasting outfit is using Limelight as its content delivery (and storage) network. If Limelight shuts down, that would mean that a lot of podcasters are going to have to find some other way of distributing their files.

Judging from some of the discussions I am seeing streaming by on Twitter right now – a certain amount of panic is already setting in among podcasters.

The impact of this goes beyond podcasters, though. Quite a few other large companies have partnered with Limelight, such as Adobe, Rackspace, The FeedRoom, iFilm, Amazon’s Unbox, MSNBC, Akimbo, mytoons, brightcove and even Microsoft’s XBox Live.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. As of now, a lot of this is speculation and nobody has ordered Limelight to shut down yet.

I assume a good number of these companies are big enough to have contingency plans, but I seriously doubt that Podshow does.

If anything, I would guess that Akamai is going to look at a few new customers coming through its doors very soon.