US file-sharing companies seek agreement with recording industry

[JURIST] Discussions are ongoing between at least five online music file-sharing companies and recording industry executives in an attempt to convert the networks, which allow users to freely swap music over the internet, to paid services. Several companies have initiated settlement discussions following the US Supreme Court's decision in June in MGM v. Grokster [opinion], which that held that owners of file-sharing services can be held liable for contributing to copyright infringement. Record industry executives say they are seeking settlements which require file sharing networks to transition to paid services which prohibit the trading of copyrighted files without the permission of the copyright owner. Grokster [corporate website; Wikipedia profile], which still faces a copyright infringement lawsuit after the Supreme Court's decision, has agreed in principle to be acquired by Sony-funded Mashboxx [website; formation press release], the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The New York Times has more. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has in-depth coverage of the Grokster case.

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