According to court documents filed today MetaMachine, the company behind eDonkey, has agreed to pay a $30 million dollar settlement to the RIAA and cease distribution of its eDonkey, eDonkey 2000, Overnet and other software versions.
A message left for users on the eDonkey site reads:
The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available.
If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law.
Courts around the world — including the United States Supreme Court —
have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal
You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material.
Your IP address is XX.XXX.XX.XXX and has been logged.
Respect the music, download legally.
I’m glad I was routing my connection through a proxy server, for as you see above they’ve even begun logging the IP addresses of visitors to the site. Though this of course means nothing really, I still don’t like notion of being “logged” by anyone, especially if it will be wrapped up in a fancy 3-ring binder as a present to the RIAA alongside the stacks of settlement money.
A recent userabout trying to connect to the eDonkey servers :
It’s been reported by multiple users that the edonkey client now refuses to start.
It (sic) dialog opens saying that the network has been shut down.
If you click the OK button on that (sic) dialog your edonkey client then tries to uninstall itself.
This is not a hack. This self-destruct message is coming from the edonkey server themselves.
It’s a http message being sent to your client in the opening web page.
The work around is to disconnect your network connection, start edonkey, and let it fail to connect then reconnect your network.
There are very few users who are on the network right now because if they were foolish enough to click the OK to uninstall button there edonkye client is gone.
The edonkey forums are also down and there are no message on the main page regarding this shutdown.
Another user in the Zeropaid forums
“You can keep the official client and block their site, or maybe get Edonkey Lite. Since MetaMachine is co-operating with the authorities, some might prefer a clean version. It doesn’t seem to have any spyware.”
This decision by eDonkey comes on the heels of recent settlements by BearShare, i2Hub, WinMX, and Grokster with the RIAA in recent months.
In addition to agreeing to cease distribution of it’s various eDonkey software they have also agreed to take measures “…to prevent file-sharing by people using previously downloaded versions.”
Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, commented that “With this new settlement, another domino falls, and we have further strengthened the footing of the legal marketplace.”
According to the settlement agreement between the RIAA and MetaMachine there doesn’t appear to be much of a future in the file-sharing realm for eDonkey or MetaMachine.
[The defendants…] shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from directly, indirectly, contributory or vicariously infringing in any many any copyright in any and all sound recording and other copyrighted works…”
[The defendants…] shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from directly or indirectly, or assisting in or supporting the operation of, any copter server or website, or distributing any software, in any way related to the eDonkey System or Software or any other peer to peer or file-trading network or their network, service or medium [that encourages copyright infringement.]
[The defendants…] shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from directly or indirectly releasing [the eDonkey source code or technology.]
The defendants are also prohibited from selling or transferring any significant part of the MetaMachine business or other assets without the consent of the Court, as well as waive their right to appeal.
Yet, once again this will have the effect of merely pushing people to different file-sharing methods like BitTorrent, thus once again opening up a whole new can of worms for the lawyers at the RIAA.