How does limewire work?? Who puts the songs on there??
Limewire is a P2P, "Peer to Peer" network. Essentially, it's a vast network of connected computers on the Gnutella Network, which is what Limewire runs off. The files are put there by regular people like you and me, via shared folders. For instance: if I've got a folder on my computer called, "Best Metal of 2008" with a bunch of kick-a$$ songs in it, I can choose to share this folder through Limewire, by adding it as a shared folder. Then, when people browse Limewire, they might see my folder, and they might choose to download some music from my folder. When you browse Limewire, what you're really doing is just downloading files that somebody has stored on their computer. This is why you need to be CAREFUL. If I was a malicious hacker, and I decided that I wanted to hide viruses in all my shared music, then if you downloaded it from me, you would get the viruses! It is extremely important to vigilantly scan the files you download from P2P networks for viruses of all kinds; you never really know what you're getting. Any more specific questions, don't hesitate to funmail me.
Just going to throw something in, a little mod to mysterywolf's answer: people CAN gain access to your computer through Limewire. If you download a song with a backdoor worm embedded in it, then the worm can create a hidden path for hackers to gain access to your computer. Again, this is an important reason to keep up-to-date antivirus software on your computer... and ALWAYS keep your firewall on! Connecting to the internet without a firewall is like sex without a condom- you're going to catch something.
It's a p2p (peer to peer) sharing system. So whoever who has Limewire open on their computer and are on the internet can share their files to other people who may be looking for something that you might have. So the song that you just downloaded from Limewire was from someone's computer who also has Limewire. Don't worry though, everyone doesn't have access to your entire computer. It's only limited to a certain folder that you assign, and usually it's from the same folder that you download files into.
How can you get into trouble with copyright laws and licenses? Will I get into trouble if I just download for my listening only?
I never use it, it's so unreliable sometimes.