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11/7/2005
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Grokster Shuts Down

The network was the target of a lawsuit filed by Hollywood to stop illegal movie sharing on peer-to-peer networks. The company says it plans to open a legal service, Grokster 3G, soon.

Grokster, which lost in the Supreme Court a lawsuit filed by Hollywood to stop illegal file sharing on peer-to-peer networks, shut down Monday, as part of a settlement it reached with movie studios and the recording industry.

The agreement settles the 3-year-old case that led to the high court in the summer ruling that file-sharing services were responsible for copyright violations, if they intended customers to use their software primarily to swap songs and movies illegally. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed by MGM Studios against Grokster.

On its Web site, the file-sharing service said that the high court had unanimously confirmed that using Grokster to trade copyrighted material is illegal, and Hollywood studios would take legal action to protect their property.

"There are legal services for downloading music and movies," the posting said. "This service is not one of them."

The company said it hoped to have a legal service, called Grokster 3G, available soon, and offered an email address to anyone who wanted to participate in the upcoming beta.

The Recording Industry Association of America said the settlement was reached with the nation's major record companies, motion picture studios and music publishers. The agreement would be submitted to the court Monday for its approval.

“This settlement brings to a close an incredibly significant chapter in the story of digital music,” Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the RIAA, said in a statement. “This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere."

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