The major record labels have settled their copyright infringement against peer-to-peer network iMesh, which is aiming to relaunch later this year, possibly with licensed major label content.
If iMesh succeeds, it will become the first P2P service with legal content from major record labels.
An iMesh spokesman wouldn’t confirm plans for the relaunch, saying only that the settlement is allowing the company to enter relationships with major labels and “the new business model will be a function of those relationships.”
RIAA topper Mitch Bainwol also hinted that his group’s members would be working with iMesh, commenting, “Peer-to-peer technologies hold real promise. This settlement with iMesh is an opportunity to demonstrate that promise in the legitimate marketplace.”
Settlement calls for iMesh, which is incorporated in New York but does most of its development in Israel, to pay the major record companies $4.1 million and ensure that its users abide by U.S. copyright laws.
RIAA sued the Israeli company in federal court in New York last September, claiming that its express purpose was copyright infringement.
Case under appeal
At the time, iMesh vowed to fight, citing previous federal district court rulings saying file-sharing networks Grokster and Morpheus are not themselves copyright infringers. That case is currently under appeal.
While it’s still one of the bigger P2P networks, iMesh being eclipsed in popularity by new service like BitTorrent that make illegal file trading easier to conduct and more difficult for authorities to track.
Bainwol made clear that RIAA will continue to pursue other P2P companies. “The constructive approach of iMesh stands in stark contrast to other file-sharing businesses,” he said, “who thumb their noses at Congress, continue to offload liability onto users and dupe America’s kids into breaking the law.”
He also reiterated his support for controversial legislation proposed by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) that would essentially outlaw P2P networks.