Scour Files for Bankruptcy

Scour's travails began with Napster. Once that notorious music-swapping site came under fire from the record industry, the movie industry rooted around for mischief in its own field and found Scour, primarily taking issue with Scour Exchange, which allows for peer-to-peer exchanging of files with a particular focus on multimedia. A lawyer for the Motion Picture Association of America said that Scour investor and Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz was contacted about Scour's perceived misdealings, but that he did not dismantle Scour's file-sharing network as they had hoped.

On July 20, the MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America filed suit against Scour alleging piracy. Scour followed Napster's lead by putting together a legal dream team comprised of litigator Fred Bartlit, copyright law guru Arthur Miller and intellectual property expert Peter Toren.

Sources said that after the suit was filed, Ovitz began shopping around his minority share in the company. Ovitz's office wouldn't comment.

With all the attention Scour received in the wake of the lawsuit, and with the increase in traffic to the site that followed, Scour was in desperate need of additional funds to keep operating and to purchase additional servers to build its infrastructure.

In September, the company folded under those pressures and laid off 52 people, leaving 12 employees as stopgap life support. The company said at the time that the pending litigation was acting as a deterrent to potential investors and that it didn't have enough money to keep paying a full staff.

Thursday's bankruptcy filing reveals that Scour has assets of $US1 million to $US10 million, between 100 and 199 creditors, and debts of more than $US100 million. At least one of those creditors has already filed suit against the company. Earlier this month, Scour's former public-relations firm, CarryOn Communications, charged Scour with failing to pay its bills. Scour countersued, saying that it received poor PR service from CarryOn. All Scour-related suits are now frozen until the bankruptcy court determines how they should be handled. Bankruptcy specialists Perkins Coie are providing legal support.

Scour recently entered into an agreement with United Devices that leverages its network to find surplus computing power on the machines in its network. United Devices hopes to turn that power over to companies that can't afford super-computing systems. Although Scour executives didn't say so explicitly, the deal might help establish examples of how Scour's peer-to-peer network can be used in ways that don't infringe on the MPAA and RIAA's copyrights.

Scour's bankruptcy filing is just the latest in a rough year for online entertainment. In March, Warner Bros' Entertaindom shelved its IPO plans and began paring back its site and staff. In May, the Digital Entertainment Network closed its doors after burning through $US67 million. Napster was sued in June and remains embattled despite successfully avoiding an injunction leveled against it. And in early September, Shockwave.com cut 12 per cent of its workforce, and Pop.com, the much-anticipated site from DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainment, laid off most of its staff and abandoned plans to ever launch the site announced in October 1999.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Laura Rich

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?