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EDonkey File-Sharing Network Is Shut Down

September 13, 2006|From the Associated Press

The company 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, Grokster and Kazaa 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 Assn. 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 in New York, where the settlement agreement was filed, must still give final approval to the terms of the deal.

A call to Yagan was not immediately returned.

The eDonkey website on Tuesday featured a message from the company that said the eDonkey network was no longer available. It also warned that people who steal music or movies are breaking the law.

The message concluded with "Goodbye Everyone."

Because many computer users still have functional versions of eDonkey or eMule, it's unlikely the shutdown of eDonkey's business operations will have much of an effect on people swapping files on the eDonkey network, said Eric Garland, head of online entertainment tracking firm BigChampagne Online Media Measurement.

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