Ted Bridis <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
> By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
> Grokster Ltd., which lost a Supreme Court fight over file-sharing
> software used for stealing songs and movies online, agreed Monday to
> shut down and pay $50 million to settle piracy complaints by Hollywood
> and the music industry.
> The surprise settlement permanently bans Grokster from participating,
> directly or indirectly, in the theft of copyrighted files and requires
> the company to stop giving away its software, according to court
> Executives indicated plans to launch a legal, fee-based "Grokster 3G"
> service before year's end under a new parent company, believed to be
> Mashboxx of Virginia Beach, Va. Mashboxx, headed in part by former
> Grokster president Wayne Rosso, already has signed a licensing
> agreement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
> "It is time for a new beginning," Grokster said in a statement issued
> from its corporate headquarters in the West Indies.
> Grokster's Web site was changed Monday to say its existing file-
> sharing service was illegal and no longer available. "There are legal
> services for downloading music and movies," the message said. "This
> service is not one of them."
> The head of the Recording Industry Association of America, Mitch
> Bainwol, described the settlement as "a chapter that ends on a high
> note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and
> consumers everywhere."
> It was unclear whether Grokster can afford to pay the $50 million in
> damages required under the agreement. The head of the Motion Picture
> Association of America, Dan Glickman, said the entertainment industry
> will demand full payment unless Grokster satisfies all its obligations
> under the settlement.
> Grokster's brand will survive. The new fee-based version of its
> software will be available within 60 days, according to one executive
> involved in the deal. This executive spoke only on condition of
> anonymity because the sale of Grokster's assets is pending.
> Grokster's decision was not expected to affect Internet users who
> already run the company's file-sharing software to download music and
> movies online, nor was it expected to affect users of rival
> downloading services, such as eDonkey, Kazaa, BitTorrent and others.
> Glickman said Grokster will send anti-piracy messages to existing
> users, and the company is forbidden from maintaining its software or
> network. "Without those services, the system will degrade over time,"
> Glickman said.
> Grokster lost an important Supreme Court ruling in June. Justices
> ruled that the entertainment industry can file piracy lawsuits against
> technology companies caught encouraging customers to steal music and
> movies over the Internet.
> The decision, which gave a green light for the federal case to advance
> in Los Angeles, significantly weakened lawsuit protections for
> companies that had blamed illegal behavior on their own customers
> rather than the technology that made such behavior possible.
> The court said Grokster and another firm, Streamcast Networks Inc.,
> can be sued because they deliberately encouraged customers to download
> copyrighted files illegally so they could build a larger audience and
> sell more advertising. Writing for the court, Justice David H. Souter
> said the companies' "unlawful objective is unmistakable."
> "They're out of business," said Charles Baker, a lawyer for
> Streamcast. "It's over for them. There was a lack of desire to
> continue to fight this thing going forward." Baker said the settlement
> does not affect Streamcast, the co-defendant in the entertainment
> industry's lawsuit.
> The Supreme Court noted as evidence of bad conduct that Grokster and
> Streamcast made no effort to block illegal downloads, which the
> companies maintained wasn't possible.
> On the Net:
> Grokster Ltd.: http://www.grokster.com
> Recording Industry Association of America: http://www.riaa.org
> Motion Picture Association of America: http://www.mpaa.org
> Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.
Did I read it right? The crooks at Grokster seeking a license to deal
Sony BMG products.
The mind boggles at what the two organizations working together will
try to hide in the code for others to stumble over.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: See another article in this issue about
Sony, (by Monty Solomon) and how there are allegations of that company
spying on users by making note of their listening habits and using the
net to send that information to a Sony office somewhere. Sony denies
these allegations and says all they are doing is trying to prevent