P2P service run by former Grokster prez.

Mashboxx LLC may be planning to acquire peer-to-peer file sharing service Grokster, it was reported today (Sept. 19).

Mashboxx is an authorized P2P file trading service run by Wayne Grosso, the former president of Grokster. Unlike other file trading services, Mashboxx uses a filtering technology from SnoCap to identify and charge for copyrighted material, with rights owners earning a cut of each transaction.

Sony BMG is the first major label to authorize its music for the service, which is expected to go live by the end of the year.

Grokster, meanwhile, develops the technology that is used by most file-trading services. The company was on the losing end of a recent Supreme Court decision, which ruled that companies can be held liable for copyright infringement if they actively promote such activity.

No financial details of the rumored acquisition were given, but a story in the Wall Street Journal noted that Mashboxx would likely share in any future Grokster service revenues.

If Grokster agrees to an acquisition by an authorized filed trading service, it could be a strategic move to go "legitimate" in the face of likely lawsuits by the RIAA and others. The RIAA said last week that it had sent cease and desist letters to seven file trading services, seen as a first step towards a potential series of lawsuits.

That Rosso is a former Grokster executive is considered key to a possible acquisition, given that Grokster's official owner is somewhat of a mystery; a rather complicated issue by design, meant to limit the liability from any music industry lawsuits.