By Jon Newton 11/07/05
Grokster is the latest of the formerly independent file sharing companies to agree to "stop distributing software that allows users to copy songs without permission as part of a settlement with the recording industry".
So says Organized Music's RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), quoted by Reuters.
LimeWire was the first to capitulate when the RIAA began sending Cease and Desist or Else letters to commercial file sharing firms. Its software now includes Digital Restrictions Management code. However, a group of LimeWire aficianados are keeping the LW flag flying with their indie FrostWire application.
eDonkey, which had taken over from Kazaa as King of the commercial p2p apps, also decided discretion was the better part of valour and as a direct result of the cartel Cease & Desist letter, its owners decided to comply with OM demands.
Of the three remaining commercial p2p companies, BearShare is still online, as is Warez P2P, and far from caving in, Morpheus owner StreamCast has just released Morpheus 5.1. Improvements include audio and video exporting to iPod through iTunes, one-click CD burning, and firewall-to-firewall transfers, increasing the number of available files users can more easily download, says the company.
StreamCast also says it's reached a distribution deal withy IRIS Distribution to sell IRIS downloads directly to Morpheus users. IRIS represents Duck Down Records, Ghostly International/Spectral Sound, Kranky Records, Megaforce Records/Transdreamer Records, SCI Fidelity, Fat Possum, K Records, Force Inc./Mille Plateaux, Coco Machete, Clone and Rong, among others.
"The deal is the first of its kind between a distributor of major independent recording artists and wildly popular file-sharing software, and is part of Morpheus Peer Response, an initiative to work with labels and artists in delivering greater value for consumers while compensating copyright holders," says StreamCast ceo Mike Weiss.
Elsewhere, iMesh, another ex-indie company, has become a full blown corporate music site, and Wayne Rosso who, at different times, ran Grokster and Blubster, now chairs Mashboxx, an industry application built around Snocap, 'verification' software marketed by Shaw Fanning, the man who got the p2p file share ball rolling with Napster.
Meanwhile, "Grokster hopes to have a safe and legal service available soon," it says on its site,.
Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.
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