Morpheus P2P Network Goes Legit

Not long after the United States Supreme Court found that file sharing networks could be held responsible for the actions of their users, StreamCast is launching a legitimate distribution platform for music, games and video through its Morpheus P2P client, which has long been under legal attack from the music industry.

Using a system it calls PeerResponse, StreamCast will enable users to search Morpheus and discover authorized content, which can be purchased through the software's built-in eWallet system. Content owners can choose how their download is distributed, through the pay system or freely to all users.

Initially, StreamCast will offer downloadable titles including Halo 2, From Russia with Love, Monopoly, Tha Outlawz "Celebrate," Ms. Cherry "It's Whatever," and thousands more. The company says authorized content will reach the millions in the coming months.

Because of the network's decentralized nature, StreamCast will not be distributing content directly unlike music stores such as Apple's iTunes. Rather, users can share authorized downloads among each other, which will alleviate bandwidth costs for StreamCast.

"Morpheus is to digital media content what Yahoo and Google are to web search -- Yahoo and Google have created opportunities for advertisers to connect directly to interested consumers and have allowed small, medium, and large businesses an equal opportunity to buy disproportionate access to very specific moments of consumer attention and interest," said StreamCast CEO Michael Weiss.

Despite its enthusiasm, StreamCast is fighting an uphill battle if it hopes to convince P2P users to pay for content they once obtained for free. Plus, it's not clear whether users will be open to Morpheus freely utilizing their upstream Internet connectivity when the content must be purchased.

"Over time, we expect everyone from the small self-publisher, the mid-tier music and video distributor, to the major entertainment conglomerates to embrace this powerful technology to develop direct relationships with their consumers," said Elizabeth Cowley, StreamCast's Vice President of Business Development.

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