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CenterSpan to Join in Bidding for Scour Assets

November 14, 2000|KAREN KAPLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Internet software company will announce today it intends to join the bidding for the assets of the bankrupt file-swapping company Scour Inc.

CenterSpan Communications Corp. plans to use Scour's technology to enhance its communication and file-sharing software. Chief Executive Frank Hausmann will announce his intention to join the bidding for Scour's assets at a hearing in federal Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.

In July, the Motion Picture Assn. of America and the Recording Industry Assn. of America accused Scour of violating copyright laws with its Scour Exchange file-sharing service. The suit seeks as much as $225 billion in damages.

Scour filed for bankruptcy in October after laying off nearly all of its 70 employees. Only nine people remain with the company.

The Hillsboro, Ore.-based company also plans to shut down the controversial Scour Exchange and relaunch it early next year as a "secure digital distribution channel that allows people to publish content on the Web, search for it, securely transfer it between people and allow it to be purchased," said Steve Frison, the company's chief technology officer.

CenterSpan will have to beat a bid made by Listen.com, an online music site based in San Francisco. Listen.com offered more than $5 million in cash and 527,918 shares of stock for Scour's search engine and file-sharing service. CenterSpan executives said their bid would be worth at least $5.25 million.

Shares of CenterSpan closed Monday at $9.19, down 50 cents in Nasdaq trading.

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