By Richard Menta 10/16/02
If you go over to www.songspy.com you will find that the P2P trading service is no more. On our review of the service written by Tom last February he posed these words in his conclusion:
"SongSpy is generally a resourceful network if you're only looking for music. With a network dependent on centralization, single source downloading, and MP3 only support, SongSpy is more of a relic rather than the "next generation music sharing network" it claims to be. Although fun to use, its centralized characteristics leave it vulnerable to the RIAA juggernaut."
It seems that the RIAA and the risks of manning a centralized network has indeed caught up with them as I stare at the home page. It is dominated by a large tombstone with the words SongSpy 1999-2002 R.I.P. Click on that tombstone and a new page opens with this starkly spare statement:
UPDATE: As of October 15, 2002 Songspy.com will be down as we begin to negotiate license deals with the record labels. We are forced to do this to
- Upgrade the songspy client to bring you the next generation of peer-2-peer.
- (in large bold type) Because of harassment from the RIAA.
There is currently an organization being formed to protect consumerís rights from being violated by the RIAA. If you would like to be contacted to show your support for this organization and stand up for your rights please fill out the form below
This adds SongSpy to the list of Napster, Aimster/Madster, and Audiogalaxy as recent casualties who have either capitulated or collapsed due to the RIAA relentless pressure and the litigation costs that came with it.
The question is, will the RIAA negotiate a license deal that will allow the likes of SongSpy and its ilk to join the Listen.com/MusicNet/PressPlay fold, or is negotiations just a ruse to let all but the few record industry annointed flop for perpetuity, dormant in the wind.
Anti-trust fervor against the RIAA because of MusicNet and Pressplay has already taken shape here and in Europe, so it is possible SongSpy can work out a resolution as Audiogalaxy did. That doesn't mean success as all of the paid sites have failed to generate a paying audience so far. So what is the potential that this will save SongSpy?
Recent Research says 1/4th of U.S. Downloaders Would Pay for Fee-Based Online Music if the terms are right.
Consumers haven't seen the right terms yet so don't hold your breath for the short term.
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