eDonkey Settles Infringement Suit For $30 Million
eDonkey the renegade file-sharing application owned by MetaMachine, has agreed to shutdown its service and pay a $30 million settlement to avoid a infringement lawsuit by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). eDonkey has also agreed to discontinue distributing its file-sharing application. The result follows months of negotiations with the RIAA, which sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company in September of last year. The shutdown also follows earlier RIAA agreements involving BearShare, i2Hub, WinMX, and Grokster. “With this new settlement, another domino falls, and we have further strengthened the footing of the legal marketplace,” said RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol.
Visitors to the edonkey.com website are no longer able to download the eDonkey client. Instead, they are greeted with a far different message. “The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available,” the site now reads. “If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law. You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material.” Earlier, MetaMachine CEO Sam Yagan indicated that he would be “throwing in the towel,” though the resulting settlement process has taken months to complete. More details are likely to surface on the agreement, which could include a possible “rebirth” of the eDonkey application as a paid P2P offering. Meanwhile, MetaMachine has also agreed to take steps to limit sharing between users of already-downloaded applications, though the specifics of that plan were not available. The announcement now puts a brighter spotlight on LimeWire, a favorite among many file-sharers.