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[FYI] Scour.net to Debut 'Son of Napster'


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April 03, 2000, 06:47 PM PST 

Scour.net to Debut 'Son of Napster'  

The creators of Scour Exchange, a new file-sharing utility, may soon 
face the wrath of the recording industry.  

By Michael Learmonth  

Napster, as it turns out, was just the beginning.  

The infamous file-sharing program, which exploded on college campuses 
late last year, is spawning a host of imitators and making it even 
more difficult to stop the widespread swapping of copyrighted music.  

Engineers at Santa Monica, Calif.-based Scour.net developed the 
latest entrant to the fray, Scour Exchange, and made it available for 
download over the weekend. Like Napster, Scour Exchange allows its 
users to exchange MP3 files for free. Unlike Napster, Scour Exchange 
doesn't necessarily search for the .MP3 file extension. Users may 
swap any file, whether it's a photograph, a video clip or an audio 

"It's like Napster, in that it's building a sharing community," says 
Travis Kalanick, VP for strategy at Scour.net. "We do file sharing in 
a similar way, but we have all media types."  


Kalanick says his program has several features that would insulate it 
from Napster's legal concerns. Unlike Napster, he argues, Scour 
Exchange has "many non-infringing uses. With the launch of this 
product, we have done licensing and syndication deals with content 
providers to distribute legitimate content."  

Also distancing the service from Napster, Kalanick argues that Scour 
Exchange simply adds functionality to the Scour.net search engine and 
says search engines are protected by a "safe-harbor provision" in the 
Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  

"We are simply a search engine," Kalanick says. "We have built an 
application that enhances that search."  

In addition, Scour has set up a procedure for dealing with copyright 
complaints that they believe to be compliant with the DMCA. Copyright 
holders must notify Scour in writing with a letter that contains the 
copyright-holder's "pen-on-paper" signature. Then Scour will take the 
infringing link out of the database.  

Scour is also setting its own "three strikes" policy. If a copyright 
holder notifies Scour about a particular user three times, Scour will 
kick the user off its system.  

"What they are trying to avoid is being held liable for direct 
infringement," says Neil Rosini, a copyright attorney who represents 
MyPlay.com. Rosini says Scour will have to demonstrate that its new 
service is "principally for trading copyrighted works that are owned 
by the people doing the trading."  

"No one goes into this business prudently who has a desire to tick 
off the recording industry unnecessarily," says attorney Andrew 
Bridges, who defended Diamond Multimedia in its Rio case. "On the 
other hand, the recording industry doesn't play fair, and no one can 
wait for the RIAA's consent or approval in order to develop a 
business plan."  


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