reached a settlement with the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA)
and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), agreeing to obtain permission
from copyright holders before allowing users to swap songs. The agreement halted
all trading of songs yesterday (June 17). Audiogalaxy had already started filtering
songs in an attempt to avoid the same fate as Napster, which was once the king
of file sharing on the net. Earlier this month, Napster filed for bankruptcy
"We are pleased to settle this case quickly.
This is a victory for everyone who cares about protecting the value of music,"
said Hilary Rosen, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA. "This should serve as
a wake-up call to the other networks that facilitate unauthorized copying. The
responsibility for implementing systems that allow for the authorized use of
copyrighted works rests squarely on the shoulders of the peer-to-peer network."
Under the terms of the settlement, Audiogalaxy
is required to obtain permission from a songwriter, music publisher or recording
company to share copyrighted works. Audiogalaxy has also agreed to pay music
publishers and the recording industry an out of court settlement. Terms were
not immediately disclosed.
"The message is clear – there is no
place on the Internet for services that exploit creators’ work without fair
compensation," added Edward P. Murphy, President and CEO, NMPA. "Such
services hurt creators and hurt the legitimate Internet businesses that wish
to comply with the law and compensate the creators. The swift resolution of
this matter is thus a double victory that creators and legitimate Internet businesses
should join in hailing."
Users of the file sharing service were less than
thrilled with Monday’s settlement. "AG surrendered before the battle started.
It must give the industry more strength and hope," user DropZak said. "Now
they think you will rush to the shops and a buy a highly expensive cd."
User MTVandTRLsucks was a little more aggressive.
"Audiogalaxy gave me the option of not spending $19 on a piece of sh*t
CD that has 1 good song and 17 tracks of filler. Most of the stuff I did download
was hard as hell to track down in your average Sam Goody/Waves. Some of the
remixes I’ve downloaded would never be found in such a commercialized business.
I hope you’re happy, RIAA. As you shut down another peer to peer service, another
10 are being created. Good luck you sorry f*ckers, you’ll need it."