StreamCast Readying To Throw In The Towel

The article suggests that the music industry may have learned from their Napster “win” that stamping on mercury doesn’t get you very far, but it’s still an open question as to whether any of the migration path of these networks to business models that satisfy the music rights-holders will draw enough people off the darknets: File-Sharing Barons Face Day of Reckoning [pdf]

Over the last four months, several Napster heirs have shut down and others are contemplating what they once couldn’t abide — doing business by the entertainment industry’s rules to survive.

“We can take a look at another four years of legal battles and spending millions of dollars on both sides, (but) is that where I want to spend the next four years of my life?” said [Morpheus’ Michael] Weiss, 53. “It’s better to focus the company’s energy on creating new technologies.”

StreamCast hasn’t shut down Morpheus, but the company recently approached the entertainment industry to pursue talks about settling a lawsuit against the company, according to court documents.

Wayne Rosso, who built a reputation criticizing the recording industry as head of Grokster Ltd., is also pursuing a decidedly more cordial relationship with music labels as he prepares to launch a copyright-friendly file-sharing service.

“It’s pretty clear who won,” Rosso said. “We always knew that this free trading of all this copyright material couldn’t go on. It just wouldn’t work.”

[…] Still, the amount of file-sharing has continued to increase since the days of Napster, and that’s not likely to change much, said Eric Garland, chief executive of BigChampagne LLC, which tracks activity on file-sharing networks.

“These Web sites and these businesses were shut down but it doesn’t shut down the software, it doesn’t shut down the (file-sharing) networks,” Garland said. “The open-source community will continue to build new, uncensored versions.”