and owner Michael Merhej have settled the claims by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA)
that Audiogalaxy and Mr. Merhej were guilty of vicarious and contributory copyright infringement in allowing copyrighted materials to be exchanged over their peer-to-peer file exchange web service. Unlike Napster, the Audiogalaxy site allows filtering of materials to prevent infringement. Until now, this feature was largely unused.
Besides the payment of a large capital sum, the settlement will require Audiogalaxy to obtain necessary consents to the exchange of copyrighted material before facilitating any exchange. In its press release
, the RIAA referred to this process as "filtering-in" exchangeable content.
The above settlement and the celebrated Napster proceedings seem to be timely protective steps by the music industry in light of the emerging technology that creates new and increasingly easier ways of infringing copyrighted music. An example of such new technology is Toshiba's recently released portable music player, Gigabeat, which features a removable hard disk that at 5GB, can store up to a 1,000 five minute MP3 files.
Press release by RIAA
Original complaint filed by the RIAA and the NMPA in U.S. District Court
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