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[August 25, 2004]

P2P Legally. Really.

BY MICHELLE PASQUERELLO


Since the invasion of Napster, recording artists and Congress have stepped up to the plate to put a stop to P2P (news - alert) programs, suing individual users for their file sharing rampages. Congress is actively considering proposed legislations with the intentions of penalizing file transfers that contain copyrighted material, limiting the availability of P2P software. In California, a Federal District court sided with P2P monsters, Grokster and Morpheus against entertainment companies, yet the decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


 

There are a variety of resources for advocates of P2P files sharing, and you can even find out how to avoid being sued by the RIAA . The future is uncertain for P2P companies or the people that utilize P2P software; however there are alternatives to this growing phenomenon. Specifically, Mercora recently launched a new, free-to-use P2P program called P2P Radio that allows users to legally share music through software that serves as a Webcasting (streaming) interface.

 

Mercora’s goal is to take online communication to the next level by allowing all users to tap into each other’s broadcasts, acting like your other giant Webcasting radio stations with a variety of channels at your disposal. Mercora’s P2P Radio is legally available because they adhere to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, obtaining the statutory license for non-interactive streaming of sound recordings. All U.S. musical composition performance royalties are “paid off” by Mercora through its licenses with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. According to Atri Chatterjee of Mercora, “Mercora has gone to great lengths to obtain all the appropriate licenses from the copyright office and various performance rights organizations for the non-interactive Webcasting of music. As a result, the company sustains very positive relationships with the industry and labels.”

 

He also states, “Our plan from the beginning was to create a legal person-to-person network focused on the sharing of digital music and goods, but at the time, the vision also included digital downloading of music, legally, of course. What we’ve actually created is far greater than originally planned. Mercora P2P Radio delivers unique value in the unlimited discovery and access to music and is different from anything else available. In its current form, it’s become the first and only legal ‘P2P music application’ with social networking and community features that enable the network to grow rapidly. The generally-available service will launch this fall. We firmly believe in the power of networks, and the more we enable interaction among members in the network, the more valuable we see our service becoming. As the founders coming from the security technology industry, we believe Mercora P2P Radio is a unique solution to the issues that consumers and the industry face. It’s a P2P offering that enables people to share music legally while adhering to the copyright law as specified in the DMCA.”

 

Additionally, P2P Radio is an application that enables users to interact through instant messaging (IM) (news - alert) and chat with groups that are centered on the music industry.

 

Mercora P2P Radio can be downloaded free at www.mercora.com.

 

For more information on P2P legislation, please visit P2P United.

Michelle Pasquerello is the Assistant Online Content Director for TMCnet. She welcomes your comments.

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