South Korean music producers have won another victory over the nation's leading file-sharing network, Soribada, which has shut down Soribada 3, the latest incarnation of its P2P software. Soribada 3 p

South Korean music producers have won another victory over the nation's leading file-sharing network, Soribada, which has shut down Soribada 3, the latest incarnation of its P2P software. Soribada 3 pulled the plug Monday (Nov. 7).

The Seoul District Court on Oct. 31 ordered Soribada to shut down the service in response to a suit filed in August by the Korean Assn. of Phonogram Producers.

On Nov. 7, the court upped the stakes, announcing Soribada would face a fine of 10 million won ($10,000) for each day it continued to offer free music.

The first Soribada was modeled on such services as Napster, with central servers keeping track of files users were sharing. Soribada 2 was more decentralized, like Gnutella or Bittorrent, but as it was free, there was no revenue model.

The Soribada 3 software, which required users to register and log in, was an attempt by Soribada to commercialize P2P. Yang Zhung-hwan, one of the two brothers who co-founded Soribada, admits that that was the service's legal weak point. "The courts thought that if users log in, then we must have control over them," says Yang.

In earlier cases, the courts have generally upheld the legality of free P2P software; the Yang brothers were acquitted of criminal charges of aiding and abetting copyright violations in January.

Soribada boasts 15 million registered users and about 5 million unique users each month. Yang vows the service will continue, for now returning to a free system like Soribada 2.