Apple's legal department has moved to prevent iCommune, an independently-built iTunes plug-in for sharing music libraries, from being developed.

iCommune, developed by James Speth, lets users share music libraries with one another, as well as download or stream music that other people made available.

Though Apple has issued no statement on the matter, the move to block development of the solution is intended to nip the potential for music piracy using iPod in the bud, industry observers claim.

The company issued a Notice of Breach and Termination of License to Speth. This prevents him using Apple's iTunes Device Plug-in APIs to develop the product.

The software was available as a public beta until late last week.