p2pnet.net News:- Big Music has been able to in effect pick up Israeli p2p operator iMesh in what the latter describes as "a first of its kind agreement to settle with the major record labels in order to enable us to now take iMesh, P2P and the world of digital music to new heights".
Lime Wire and BearShare executives told p2pnet they see the iMesh / RIAA settlement as having possible beneficial repercussions for the commercial p2p industry, and USA Today has eDonkey’s Sam Yagan saying it’s a, "good sign" that the labels made a deal with a p2p company.
However, StreamCast Networks ceo Mike Weiss, who has considerable background in the entertainment industry, says he’s extremely worried by the arrangement.
"I’m concerned that now the RIAA has iMesh under their control, the possibility exists for them to use the iMesh user database and potentially begin capturing the user IP addresses to further their own agenda.
"That may seem paranoid but when you’ve been face-to-face with the entertainment industry for as long as I have, you’ll know that is their standard operating procedure. The best advice I have is ‘let the buyer beware’.
Nor, he says, are his worries just for p2p companies: he also fears for technology innovators, consumers, and the artists themselves.
Weiss, who founded WebRadio.com and was vp of marketing and entertainment at Sirius Publishing, was a home video pioneer who opened one of the first video stores in the world in 1978 and became president of the American Video Association. Actively involved in lobbying against MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), his efforts paved the way to keeping video rentals legal under the first sale doctrine.
And in 1974, he helped establish Chicago’s Disco-Tech, one of the first big music industry record pools set up to win exposure for new recording artists who couldn’t break the air-play barrier.
"The music industry has only its own interests at heart," Weiss told p2pnet. "That’s the way it’s always been and you can be sure the labels will be the only ones to benefit.
"Further, what’s been conspicuously absent from every announcement of the settlement is any clue about how iMesh will supposedly prevent unauthorized music files from being found and downloaded by iMesh users."
Weiss says there are whispers of a mysterious ‘silver bullet’ technology that’ll be integrated into iMesh, but says he suspects the reality is that no such technology exists or can reasonably be expected – "which explains why no technology has been announced, and why iMesh has an open ended period of time to implement the mysterious ‘technology’."
iMesh will probably need to implement centralized server components, "thereby fundamentally changing the nature of what’s currently decentralized technology into centralized technology," Weiss states, going on:
"And while I like Sam Yagan I disagree with him, because I can’t possibly see how any of this can be good for p2p application developers, consumers, technologists in general, or the artists."
"What’s also interesting about the settlement is that it was timed to precede Hatch’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the universally reviled Induce Act (s. 2560, the Intentional Inducement of Copyright Infringement Act), so that RIAA boss Mitch Bainwol could crow about it."