Last waltz for Grokster

by admin November 7, 2005 at 5:27 pm

File-swapping company Grokster has agreed to stop distributing its peer-to-peer software, following a $50 million legal settlement announced Monday with Hollywood studios and record labels.

Along with co-defendant StreamCast Networks, Grokster had been accused by the music and movie industries of contributing to widespread copyright infringement by people who used its software to download songs and films. Monday’s settlement comes four months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled substantially in the entertainment companies’ favor.

Under the terms of the agreement, submitted in a Los Angeles federal court Monday, Grokster will immediately stop supporting its file-swapping network, and Grokster’s owners will be responsible for paying a total of $50 million in damages to movie studios, record labels and music publishers.

“This settlement brings to a close an incredibly significant chapter in the story of digital music,” Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said in a statement. “This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere.”

Although a significant step toward bringing the four-year legal case to a close, the lawsuit is not over yet. Grokster’s co-defendant, Morpheus parent StreamCast Networks, remains operating, and it has previously indicated that it would continue fighting the case in lower courts.

However, momentum in the legal fight has shifted almost wholly to the entertainment industry’s side.

Full article: CNET