Audiogalaxy Ordered To Block Copyrighted Songs

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), and rights management organization Harry Fox Agency have reached an out-of-court settlement on a co

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), and rights management organization Harry Fox Agency have reached an out-of-court settlement on a copyright-infringement suit filed last month against online file swapping network Audiogalaxy.com, Billboard Bulletin reports.

Under the deal, Audiogalaxy has agreed to block the swapping of copyrighted works on its network and to pay music publishers and the recording industry "a substantial sum" based on both its assets and its "interest in resolving this case quickly." Financial terms were not disclosed. As part of the settlement, Audiogalaxy will operate a "filter-in" system that requires pre-approval by a songwriter, publisher, and/or recording company before a track can be shared on the network.

In a suit filed May 24 in New York Federal Court, industry groups characterized the Audiogalaxy network -- which facilitates the downloading of individual songs and full albums, as well as artwork -- as "even more egregious than that of Napster."

"This should serve as a wake-up call to the other networks that facilitate unauthorized copying," RIAA chairman/CEO Hilary Rosen says in a statement. "The responsibility for implementing systems that allow for the authorized use of copyrighted works rests squarely on the shoulders of the peer-to-peer network."

An Audiogalaxy spokesman could not be reached for comment by deadline. Users on Audiogalaxy's bulletin board are already sharing tips on other sites to turn to in the wake of the settlement. Wrote one user, "the gravy train has been de-railed; the free lunch is over. It was nice while it lasted!"