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eDonkey Folds to RIAA Demands, Cites Legal Costs

Leading peer-to-peer application eDonkey will soon comply with RIAA demands. In Senate testimony Wednesday morning, company CEO Sam Yagan said that his company would be “throwing in the towel” following the receipt of an RIAA cease-and-desist notice. “I’d like to make it clear to the Committee that we have replied to the RIAA’s cease-and-desist letter,” Yagan said to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, in a hearing dedicated to post-Grokster issues. “I have personally committed to [RIAA president Cary] Sherman, which I reiterate today, that we are in the process of complying with their request.” The eDonkey site is currently live, and specifics of the plan going forward were not revealed. The company felt that it could win a legal battle against the RIAA, but could not afford the legal costs involved. Earlier, a Reuters report pointed to an eDonkey shutdown, though that appeared to be a false alarm. Yagan has been a top figure in the P2P space, though it now appears that he could be exiting the game entirely. “I am not here as an active participant in the future of P2P, but rather as one who has thrown in his towel and with no interest in replaying past issues.” Those comments may mean that an RIAA-sanctioned, legitimate version of eDonkey may never surface, creating only a partial win for the trade organization. According to Yagan, the RIAA strategies may create a bigger problem in the long-term. “I fear that the winners in Grokster will not be the labels and the studios, but rather the offshore, underground, rogue P2P developers who will have just lost half a dozen of their biggest competitors,” Yagan warned.