One of the last popular P-to-P (peer-to-peer) music sharing sites has been defeated, with eDonkey’s agreement to settle its copyright infringement case with the record industry.
In documents filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, eDonkey founders and parent company MetaMachine said they’ll pay $30 million to record companies to settle the case. They also agreed to refrain from conducting any further business that might involve copying, distributing or otherwise infringing copyrighted works.
The settlement follows just more than a month after Sharman Networks, developer of Kazaa, said it would pay the entertainment industry $100 million to settle similar lawsuits. Other file-sharing companies to succumb include Grokste, which shut down last year.
The eDonkey ite now features a statement, similar to one on the Grokster site, informing visitors that illegal downloaders can be prosecuted and ominously warning visitors that they aren’t anonymous by displaying and claiming to log their IP address.
Lime Wire is one of the few remaining popular file-sharing software companies although in August a group of record companies filed a suit against it in the U.S. asking for damages that could amount to as much as $476 million.
Late last year, eDonkey’s founder predicted the demise of the file-sharing industry. During a speech in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, he warned that U.S. P-to-P companies would all cease to exist because they would lack the resources to defend themselves against the record companies under the ruling he characterised as vague in the Grokster suit.
The record companies and movie studios have spent years attacking the creators of file-sharing software, contending they should be held liable for copyright infringement by their users. The file-sharing software developers have largely failed in their arguments that they warn users not to illegally transfer materials and so shouldn't be held responsible for how people use their products.