This year, the RIAA law-hammer fell hard on file-swapping sites. Companies like iMesh struggled to go legit, while Kazaa coughed up more than $100 million to the RIAA and pledged to mend its ways. Now eDonkey has gone bust, coughing up $30 million in exchange for not being sued.
MetaMachine, Inc, the small startup behind eDonkey, had been doing well. File-sharing on their network last year accounted for nearly one-third of all Internet traffic and revenue from advertising and software sales topped $2 million a year. Unfortunately, most of that revenue flowed in because users wanted to swap copyrighted material. After the Grokster decision, MetaMachine found itself on shaky legal ground.
The eDonkey site has been shuttered, and now says only, "If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law." It also displays your IP address and warns that it has been logged. The logging is only a scare tactic, of course; there's nothing illegal about visiting the company's website, or even in downloading the software. More...
Credit: ars technica