Fri, Jul 13th 2007 5:28am
A service called Imeem launched a little while back, and it allowed users to build playlists of music, videos and photos and share them with their friends. Despite the fact that it didn't offer any way to download copyrighted music, Warner Music sued Imeem, saying it was making money on "the illegal use of free music." How quickly things change: Warner has now dropped the lawsuit and licensed its catalog to Imeem, in exchange for a cut of its ad sales. Paidcontent says the deal is part of a trend of media companies showing a willingness to cut deals with these sorts of companies, "having decided its better to bring in revenue" than fight in court. But looked at another way, Warner is charging Imeem for the privilege of promoting its music. It paid its lawyers to threaten the company with a lawsuit and hammer out this licensing/revenue share deal, when instead, it could have simply let Imeem be and embraced the promotional value of its own content. It's pretty unlikely that Imeem will deliver significant revenues to Warner; changing how it perceives its own content and evolving its business model seems the wiser long-term bet.
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