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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Audiogalaxy moves to filter songs
Compact disc
Record industry is worried about music piracy
Music-sharing service Audiogalaxy is to take steps to purge pirated songs and recordings from its online service.

In a deal struck with music publishers and record makers, Audiogalaxy has agreed to pay an unspecified sum in damages and has pledged to improve its anti-piracy efforts.

Users report that Audiogalaxy has already started filtering the music available to members.

The deal has been made to ward off further legal action by music industry groups that has already forced some other net music sites to close.

Missing music

The Recording Industry Association of America and the National Music Publishers Association sued Audiogalaxy in May of this year, alleging that it was encouraging piracy.

"This should serve as a wake-up call to the other networks that facilitate unauthorised copying," said Hilary Rosen, chairman of the RIAA.

Audiogalaxy, like Napster and other net-based systems, lets members share the music on their computers with other users.

Many people have converted CDs they have bought to MP3 audio files and then shared them with other people in defiance of copyright laws, which place restrictions on the "fair use" of purchased music.

The full terms of the payment and anti-piracy agreements were not fully disclosed. But Audiogalaxy is understood to have pledged to operate a "filter-in" system that only allows it to share music if it has permission from copyright holders.

Early reports by Audiogalaxy users suggest that music freely available last week has now disappeared from the service.

The deal is the latest in a series of victories for the music industry which is waging a long running campaign against the swapping of music on the internet.

Recently, peer-to-peer network Kazaa ran out of funds to contest legal action brought against it by the music industry, and in early June, Napster filed for bankruptcy protection.

See also:

20 Jul 01 | Business
23 May 02 | Science/Nature
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