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Liquid Audio wants Scour.com tech

Keen to Napsterise its digital music system

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Online music company Liquid Audio is looking to buy the technological remains of failed media sharing service, Scour.

Liquid Audio's plan is to build Scour's Napster-style file-sharing system into its own Liquid Distribution System. Thanks to Napster, the peer-to-peer model of digital music distribution is emerging as a potent alternative to the pay-per-download model pioneered by Liquid Audio and others. Liquid Audio needs to tap into that trend, particularly if it becomes the standard means by which music is sold online.

However, Liquid Audio's interest in obtaining its own sharing software doesn't go very far clarify the situation over a possible acquisition of the company's acquisition by German media giant Bertelsmann. That was the key rumour at a recent digital music conference, but neither company would comment on the claim.

Liquid Audio looked a good partner for Bertelsmann, to provide the copyright management and protection technology needed to 'legitimise' Napster. Liquid Audio's hunt for sharing technology of its own might suggest that that deal is no longer on the cards. Then again, Liquid Audio might simply be securing the technology it and Bertelsmann will need if Napster doesn't come through on its part of the bargain.

With Scour currently in Chapter 11 protection, Liquid Audio needs the backing of the bankruptcy court. It filed a plan to buy Scour's technology assets late last week. Listen.com is also bidding for Scour, a bid that has the backing of Scour's board. ®

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