Audiogalaxy caves in to RIAA, will filter songs

Audiogalaxy Inc., the company behind the Audiogalaxy.com peer-to-peer music file sharing service, is to pay music publishers "a substantial sum" and filter out copyright songs from its service as a result of an out-of-court settlement reached with representatives of the U.S. music recording and publishing industry on Monday.

As part of the settlement, Audiogalaxy has agreed to block sharing of all songs over its network until permission to share them has been explicitly granted by the songwriter, music publisher and/or recording company, according to a statement by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) on the RIAA's Web site.

Audiogalaxy officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Users of the Audiogalaxy service were dismayed by the announcement.

"All the songs on AG are now blocked. It means the most fast, stable and reliable file share program finally came to an end. What shall we do from now on?" said a posting signed "ape2man71" on a bulletin board on Audiogalaxy's Web site on Monday.

Another poster to the same forum expressed skepticism that Audiogalaxy could ever recover from the settlement's requirement to seek permission before sharing songs.

"Want to place any bets on how unbelievably long that's going to take? And how unbelievably few songs will be re-shared?" he said on Tuesday, signing himself "AmateurHistorian."

The RIAA and NMPA accused Audiogalaxy of facilitating and encouraging widespread copyright infringement in a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York on May 24.

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Peter Sayer

PC World

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