Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/29/edonkey_quits/

eDonkey seeks sanctuary

Can't afford the lawyer

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Media, 29th September 2005 09:55 GMT

The company behind eDonkey, MetaMachine, is getting out of the file sharing business according to its boss Sam Yagan.

Yagan disclosed the news in testimony to Congress, Extreme Tech reports. Yagan said he is responding to a cease-and-desist notice served by the Recording Industry Ass. of America to several P2P networks.

"I have personally committed to Mr. Sherman – which I reiterate today – that we are in the process of complying with their request," said Yagan. "Therefore I am not here as an active participant in the future of P2P, but rather as one who has thrown in his towel."

Yagan blamed the Supreme Court's June judgement which suggested that a P2P company's copyright liability rested on its intent to infringe. As a consequence, small companies were being forced out of business because they couldn't afford to litigate. As a result, he said, innovation was being stifled and the US economy would suffer.

A good point, until one remembers the long litigation necessary to permit innovation such as reverse engineering and cryptography. In the case of PGP, litigation took many years, and PGP developer Phil Zimmermann had far fewer users and backers.

So Yagan might equally direct his frustration at the wealthy technology and telecommunications industries - which dwarf the recording industry - for their failure to support him.

At the Congressional hearings, the Grand Dame of Californian politics, Senator Dianne Feinstein, yesterday called for new legislation to enforce copyright, but failed to give details of what she had in mind.®

Related link

Yagan's testimony to Congress [Extreme Tech]