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Coder Finds New Way to Swap Tunes

Like Daniel entering the lions' den, programmer Jim Speth is about to release some new music-sharing software that could land him in a world of legal pain.

Unlike Daniel, Speth doesn't have divine protection. But he does have faith that his software is the digital equivalent of something like a private lending library, which may or may not shield him from the entertainment industry's legal eagles, according to experts.

Speth, an ex-Apple programmer, is working on a file-sharing application for Mac OS X called iCommune, which allows users to share music over the Internet.

But unlike most other music-sharing applications, the software isn't an open box that lets anyone on the Internet copy files. Rather, iCommune users decide with whom they want to share files, using the equivalent of a buddy list.

Speth, a 30-year-old coder who lives in San Francisco, describes the software as the digital equivalent of letting friends or family borrow a CD, which, he believes, is a solid "fair use" defense in copyright-related legal proceedings.

News source: Wired

View: iCommune

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