Firm behind eDonkey to pay $30 million to avoid piracy claims
LOS ANGELES - The firm behind popular online file-sharing software eDonkey has agreed to pay $30 million to avoid potential copyright infringement lawsuits from the recording industry, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
New York-based MetaMachine Inc. was one of seven technology firms to receive letters from the recording industry last fall warning them to shut down or prepare to face lawsuits.
Since then, the operators of BearShare, i2Hub, WinMX, and Grokster have reached similar agreements.
"With this new settlement, another domino falls, and we have further strengthened the footing of the legal marketplace," Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, said in a statement.
Under terms of the latest agreement, MetaMachine and its top executives, Sam Yagan and Jed McCaleb, agreed to immediately cease distributing eDonkey, eDonkey 2000, Overnet and other software versions.
The company also agreed to take measures to prevent file-sharing by people using previously downloaded versions of the eDonkey software.
A federal judge must still give final approval to the terms of the settlement.
A call to eDonkey CEO Sam Yagan was not immediately returned.
The eDonkey Web site on Tuesday featured a message from the company telling visitors that the eDonkey2000 Network was no longer available, and a warning that people who steal music or movies are breaking the law.
The message concluded with "Goodbye Everyone."
Several file-sharing services have yet to reach settlements with the recording industry, including Warez P2P, Limewire and Soulseek.
In August, the recording companies filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the firm behind LimeWire. That case is pending.