eDonkey owners are the latest peer-to-peer operators to settle copyright infringement claims with the major labels. In a consent judgment filed today (Sept. 12), MetaMachine, Sam Yagan and Jed McCaleb

eDonkey owners are the latest peer-to-peer operators to settle copyright infringement claims with the major labels. In a consent judgment filed today (Sept. 12), MetaMachine, Sam Yagan and Jed McCaleb agreed to pay $30 million to the labels.

"We are pleased to have reached this settlement and see it as another important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the digital music marketplace," says Mitch Bainwol, RIAA chairman/CEO. "With this new settlement, another domino falls, and we have further strengthened the footing of the legal marketplace."

Some reports indicate that in 2005, eDonkey hosted an average of 2-3 million users sharing anywhere from 500 million to 2 billion files.

As part of the consent judgment, the owners agreed to the court issuing a permanent injunction covering eDonkey, eDonkey 2000 and Overnet, the search software distributed to locate eDonkey files. The injunction requires MetaMachine, Yagan and McCaleb to disable and prevent users from copying or sharing any of the labels' music through software, servers or Web sites owned or controlled by the settling defendants. According to sources close to the litigation, the Web sites are expected to be shut down following entry of the judgment.

The injunction basically mirrors judgments and injunctions entered by courts following the labels' settlements with the operators of Kazaa in July for $115 million, Bearshare in May for $30 million, and Grokster last November for $50 million.

"Our settlement with eDonkey will make operations such as LimeWire that continue to break the law and profit off the back of stolen copyrighted content all the more conspicuous," says Bainwol.

The major labels sued LimeWire in August for copyright infringement. That suit is still pending in the federal District Court in New York.

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