iMesh Pays Out, Changes Business Model have just paid out US$4.1 million (€3.34 million) in compensation to the US music industry to settle a lawsuit on their P2P software. The iMesh client software was accused of helping internet users to download music illegally, and so record companies pursued them for US$150,000 (€122,400) per song plus legal fees.

iMesh are now operating under Bridgemar Services and have promised to introduce a new, non-infringing, service. No details are forthcoming on what the service might be, though. Their website simply states: “Don’t worry — we are not going anywhere. We have been doing this for a very long time and are very good at what we do. So, we anticipate no gaps in service while we transition to the new model. The new model will launch later this year.”

The company is upbeat about settling the case, however: “iMesh views this as a historic opportunity. We agreed to settle in order to ensure our ability to provide you with more content and better technology than any of our competitors. Under the New iMesh model, which will launch later this year, you will be able to find and share the content you want without fear of being sued.”

There’s the issue: there’s nothing to prevent the RIAA now suing the music sharers and downloaders who used the iMesh service.

Whether iMesh will be successful in relaunching itself as a legitimate P2P service, much like Napster’s moderately successful reinvention, remains to be seen.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?