File swapping news floods in

Firstly, an interesting story at CNN about the return of Napster, except in a legalised form - heres a snip :

"Once the scourge of the music industry, Napster had at its peak in 2000 more than 60 million people using its software that allowed Internet users to copy and share music for free, until the five largest record companies successfully sued the company for copyright infringement. The record industry has long blamed such services for the decline in record sales. After declaring bankruptcy last year, many of Napster's assets were bought by Roxio, which makes CD-burning software and plans to restart Napster as a legitimate pay service.

"We're expecting to launch the service before the end of the year," spokeswoman Kathryn Kelly said. "But we're not relaunching until we can establish it as a legal service." She added that the company was in discussions with the five largest record labels -- Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group; Sony Music; AOL Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Music Group; Bertelsmann AG; and EMI Group Plc -- to license their music.

View: Article @

Next up, and interesting alternative called 'Honest Thief'.

" Dutch Internet company Thursday said it had developed software that could be used to compensate musicians whose songs are swapped online, a move it said could cut out the embattled music industry. PGR BV, a privately held company, has its own new file-sharing service known as The Honest Thief and is helping companies start up services like the popular Kazaa and Morpheus services in the Netherlands, which has emerged as something of a haven for such operations.

He said the software, known as ThankYou 2.0, enables a peer-to-peer file-sharing client to turn the computers of digital music fans into a node in a network of computers linked through the Internet. By leasing out the unused processor power on those multiple PCs to research facilities — a technology known as "grid computing" — the software, Plass said, could generate revenues that would be distributed back to the musicians. "The record companies are not dead yet, but they're certainly on life support. And The Honest Thief pulls the plug," said Plass, who is also chief executive of a construction-management firm in the Dutch city of Arnhem. "

A very novel approach.

View: View @ USA Today

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