IMesh P-to-P provider gets Sony Music license

IMesh has licensed content from Sony BMG Music for its planned commercial P-to-P network.

The company behind the iMesh peer-to-peer file sharing technology has licensed content from Sony Music Entertainment for its planned commercial service, it said Monday.

Bridgemar Services has been trying to reposition iMesh as a legal download service following the settlement of a lawsuit brought against it by the US recording industry. The deal with Sony represents a significant and positive turning point for the future of legitimate P-to-P, it said in a statement.

IMesh was sued for copyright infringement in September 2003 by several recording companies represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as part of the RIAA's battle against illegal file-sharing. IMesh ended up paying US$4.1 million as part of the settlement, which also allowed it to continue operating while it worked out a new service.

IMesh has missed its initial target for launching a commercial service, which at the time of the July 2004 settlement it said would be running by the end of 2004. On Monday, it said the service will open before the end of 2005. It will offer authorized content through individual downloads and through a flat-rate subscription that will cover unlimited downloads. The new iMesh service will also offer access to content from file sharing networks such as Gnutella, the company said.

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