RIAA: Goodbye BearShare, Hello $30M

    May 5, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Online file-sharing service BearShare, along with operators Free Peers Inc., is packing it up due to a $30 million settlement with the recording industry.

The conditions of the settlement were agreed to by the P2P company to avoid further copyright infringement litigation. Free Peers also agreed not to set up another unlicensed music services. As a federal judge reviews the settlement for final approval, Free Peers has agreed to sell the BearShare technology rights, domain name and user data to iMesh Inc.

New York-based iMesh shelled out $4.1 million to the RIAA in 2004 in a file-swapping settlement. In 2005, the company went back online as a licensed service. BearShare was among several P2P service to receive cease-and-desist letters from the RIAA in September of last year.

Others include Warez P2P, Limewire, eDonkey, and Soulseek, all of whom have not yet reached a settlement. "IMesh is committed to transitioning the compelling experience of [peer-to-peer file sharing] to an authorized marketplace," said Chief Executive Robert Summer. The RIAA, pleased with the outcome, lauded last year’s Supreme Court ruling against Grokster as the catalyst for the settlement and settlements to come.

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