Licensing agreements inked with Sony BMG, Universal.
Once the target of a music-industry anti-piracy campaign, peer-to-peer file trading service iMesh unveiled a licensing deal with Sony BMG Music on July 11, and is days from announcing a similar agreement with Universal Music Group, according to sources close to the situation.
Sony Music is expected to be the first to publicly announce their iMesh deal on Monday. Sources close to UMG did not mention when a public announcement will be made, but expect to have UMG licensed material active on the iMesh network in the next 7-10 days.
Officials at both Sony and UMG declined to comment, as did iMesh.
iMesh first began operating an unauthorized P2P service in 1999, shortly after the original Napster. The company announced a redesigned service that now protects copyrighted material shortly after the Supreme Court's June 27 ruling in the MGM-Grokster case. It hired former RCA Records and Sony Music International executive Robert Summer as executive chairman to lead this transition.
The iMesh service uses a centrally managed rights clearinghouse operated by Audible Magic to recognize which tracks being traded are copyright protected. Rights holders licensing their content and registering with the database can then claim protection and compensation for the files being traded.
Depending on the agreement, iMesh users can either listen to a 30-second clip or, for a limited time, the full song before being prompted to purchase the track. iMesh customers choosing the subscription service would gain instant access.
Both subscription and ala carte download service options are operated by MusicNet. iMesh is expected to go live later this year.