Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Grokster wants to go legal

In relation to my 6 september post the Wall Street Journal article (subscription), on Mashboxx' proposed acquisition of Grokster is hardly surprising. Mashboxx was co-founded by Wayne Grosso, who was also among Grokster's builders. The deal would be comparable to the acquisition of the original Napster by Bertelsmann (sold on to Roxio, which reintroduced Napster as a legal download service).

Mashboxx will go live in December as a legal file-sharing service. Filtering software will tell whether a file is subject to copyright. If so, the exchange will be blocked, or a fee must be payed. The technology is licensed from Snocap (founded by Shawn Fanning, the man behind the first Napster), which in turn licenses fingerprinting technology from Philips Electronics.

The New York Times takes the story (registration) one step further. I believe illegal P2P file-sharing hasn't died yet, because new services keep popping up. However, a remarkable number of them is engaged in talks to go legal.

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