p2p news / p2pnet: After this month, you won’t be seeing the BearShare ad in the top left spot.
It’s the latest commercial p2p company to be shafted by the corporate music industry.
The Big Four record labels, all of whom are currently being investigated for bribery and price fixing, have been falsely promoting p2p applications as a major threat to the health of American economy.
That looks and sound ridiculous. But it isn’t.
Using the mainstream media as their willing mouthpieces, Warner Music, Vivendi Universal, EMI and Sony BMG, the company which tried to sneak spyware into uses’ computers, say file sharing is ruining them, all the while banking enormous profits.
Thanks to ongoing reports from the largely entertainment cartel-owned mainstream media, they’ve been able to boost simple copyright infringement to the level of major crime.
They claim file sharers are thieves when nothing has been stolen; that downloads result in billions of dollars in lost sales when it’s never been even vaguely demonstrated that a file shared equals a sale lost; that their depredations against their own customers are resulting in a significant shift away from the p2p networks and towards the as yet non-existent online corporate music ‘services’.
Now BearShare has been bought out by iMesh, a company to all intents and purposes under the direct control of the Big Four’s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and which desperately needs American users. Presumably, BearShare can to an extent supply them.
“Free Peers, former operator of the controversial BearShare peer-to-peer software and service, has shut down its operations and sold its BearShare assets to a subsidiary of file-sharing service iMesh,” says ZDNet News.
“Free Peers, along with BearShare’s new owners, iMesh and its MusicLab subsidiary, reached a $30 million proposed judgment with Capital Records, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings and Warner Music Group. The proposed judgment stipulates the software companies will not infringe on any copyrighted works or sound recordings.”
The $30 million figure is, of course, pure RIAA dross. iMesh ‘settled’ with the RIAA for $4.1 million, and the BearShare payout could ultimately be even less than that.
Last year the RIAA sent threatening cease-and-desist letters to seven p2p companies, BearShare among them and, “BearShare is the first of the seven to settle with the RIAA, although two others – iHub2 and WinMX – shut down rather than comply,” adds ZDNet. “A third, eDonkey, shifted to a fee-based structure a la Napster. EDonkey and the remaining letter recipients – Warez P2P, Limewire, and Soulseek – remain online and have not settled with the RIAA.”
We’re sorry to see BearShare bite the dust.
The Big Four continue to pump out their lies unchallenged by the press, confident that they’ll triumph through sheer weight of political and financial clout, and because they control the lamescream media.
However, that was yesterday.
Today, for the first time in history, information, the true currency of the Net, is free. Ordinary people completely bypass the traditional media to share not only music and movies, but also unspun news.
More and more people are logging on every day and a critical mass is close to being reached and soon, the labels and studios really will see their profits dwindling, but not because of file sharing.
Pie-in-the-sky? No. ‘Consumers’ are becoming customers again: people with free choice. And they won’t be choosing over-priced, poor quality corporate ‘product’ made by corrupt and venal companies who are suing them and their children.
ZDNet News – BearShare P2P service sold following settlement, May 5, 2006