A former McAfee CEO appears to have found a way around the legal minefield hindering anyone attempting to enter the music sharing market: by a licence to webcast content.
Mercora is a P2P - "person to person", is how it defines the term - network that allows users to share songs without actually downloading them. It's an approach the company dubs "P2P radio".The software allows users to share and catalogue digital photos, and provides instant messaging functionality too. But it's focus is sharing music. Essentially, it streams the music files on a user's hard drive out onto the Net. Other Mercora users can tune in and listen.
The company's reckons it's safe to do so because it has acquired a non-interactive digital audio webcasting licence as mandated by the notorious Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). "This license pertains to the digital performance rights of sound recordings and the associated reporting and royalty payments to SoundExchange (the independent non-profit organization that represents over 500 record companies and associated labels)," Mercora says. "We have also obtained all US (and in some cases international) musical composition performance rights through our licenses with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC."
The upshot, it believes, is that "you (the end user) do not have to worry about... the reporting and royalty payments that are due to these various organizations". Next, the software "ensures that any webcasts you make satisfy various rules governing the statutory licence for non-interactive webcasting". That includes "conforming to the sound recording performance complement, minimum duration for looped programming, identification of song, artist, and album," etc.
News source: The Reg