iMesh Launches Legal P2P Service

Becoming the first official legal peer-to-peer service, iMesh on Tuesday announced it was taking the sixth version of its software into public beta. The company says it is the only globally active P2P network that maintains the experience of file sharing while assuring the copyright holders are fairly compensated.

The original iMesh was founded in 1999 and enjoyed several years of success before it was sued in September 2003 by the RIAA. Since then, the company has been working on a way to stay viable as a P2P service, yet assure the record labels that it was serious about offering compensation for its members' file-sharing activities.

The new iMesh 6 service will use Windows Media 10 DRM-enabled files to protect music shared over the P2P network. The company said this would make the service compatible with any PlaysForSure device.

"After working more than a year to build the first, authorized P2P service, we are pleased to offer the music industry a comprehensive solution to internet music piracy and are eager to deliver to consumers the most compelling commercial P2P offering available today," said Bob Summer, Executive Chairman of iMesh.

Membership in the now-legal service will cost $6.95 USD per month, however users will be able to try out iMesh 6 for a period of one or two months.

iMesh will still allow users to download "unauthorized" content from the Gnutella and iMesh networks, but these files will be denoted by a grey star as opposed to a gold star that would appear next to "authorized" files. Even so, on its Web site, iMesh assures customers the service "is 100% legal."

"This marks a major step forward for consumers in their desire to legitimately access a massive pool of music over peer-to-peer networks," added Talmon Marco, iMesh Co-founder and President.

iMesh also promised Tuesday that version 6 of its software would be free of adware and spyware.

iMesh version 6 is available for download from FileForum.

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