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Monday, November 22, 2004

Fair Is Fair: File Sharing Growing Like a Weed

Weed, the system Sananda Maitreya uses to distribute his music, got featured on Wired.com!

By Katie Dean

"While the music industry attempts to shutter peer-to-peer services in court and in Congress, one company is using P2P networks to promote and pay artists.

Shared Media Licensing, based in Seattle, offers Weed, a software program that allows interested music fans to download a song and play it three times for free. They are prompted to pay for the "Weed file" the fourth time. Songs cost about a dollar and can be burned to an unlimited number of CDs, passed around on file-sharing networks and posted to web pages.

"We're trying to take the problem of unauthorized music sharing and turn it into an opportunity for everyone to participate in the music business," said John Beezer, president of Shared Media Licensing. In addition to launching its home website, the company recently joined eBay's digital music distribution program with its own store.

Each time the song is downloaded by a new listener, the Weed file resets itself so the same rules apply: three free plays, then pay. The music can also be transferred to Windows portable media devices.

Shared Media Licensing makes the Weed purchasing software and channels the money to the artists and distributors. Over 100 independent content providers find the music, clear the rights, manage the files and promote the distribution and sales on their own websites.

Weed also encourages sharing by awarding a commission to people who pass the songs on to friends who then buy it. The copyright owner always gets 50 percent of each sale. Weed gets 15 percent for service and software costs. The fan who passes the music along gets 20 percent of the sale if a friend buys the track."

More at:
http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,65774,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

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