Lime Wire LLC, maker of the controversial LimeWire file-sharing software, plans to go legit with a new music download service.

Founded in 2000, LimeWire is better known as a peer-to-peer (P2P) networking service that's been accused of allowing internet users to illegally download movies, TV programmes and music. The company is currently involved in a legal wrangle with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which is seeking to fine LimeWire $150,000 for every song that's downloaded using the P2P tool.

But LimeWire now hopes to make a name for itself as a legitimate music download store. Initially the store will be a standalone website, also accessible from links in the file-sharing software. Future versions will allow users to browse and purchase music directly from within the LimeWire program.

The first partners to provide songs to the new digital channel are IRIS Distribution and Nettwerk Productions.

"We are delighted to collaborate with these forward-thinking music companies and sell their authorised content through LimeWire," said Jesse Rubenfeld, Lime Wire Chief Financial Officer.

Tracks purchases from the LimeWire Store will be supplied in the MP3 format. Customers will be able to buy songs and albums 'a la carte' or as part of monthly subscription plans.