Shawn Fanning, I'm Legal now.

  06/07/2001 6:49:01 PM MDT Albuquerque, Nm
  By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO

Shawn Fanning is attempting to change his illegal "business" to legal.
  It has been an uphill battle for Shawn Fanning and his illegal music service since the beginning. Although he fought every step of the way saying he was legal, with hot shots like David Boies (the man who led Al Gores legal team), Shawn couldn't convince anyone other than his users that his music service was legal. In the past 2 days now, Shawn has changed his stance and moved 360 degrees from his original position, he WANTS to be legal now.

  With his previous agreement with MusicNet (conditioned upon the fact that Shawn's service become legal), and now Loudeye (who also teamed up with AOL last week), Shawn is trying to make his company look good in legal terms. In my last article I touched on the amount of money Shawn owes already, so he ultimately must become legal. As I said before can this even happen?

  Having 2 years of illegal use behind him, Shawn Fanning has 2 options, option 1 is a legal business, and option 2 is bankruptcy. The path he is currently on will lead to a subscription based music service, nothing like his current service; let me explain why.

  Currently, Shawn Fannings users share their hard drives filled with copies of music created from actual CD's. A User then searches the other users hard drives for music, and then the music is transferred illegally from the user with the music to the user requesting the music. In a legal implementation, distribution rights are not held in the users hands. In other words, user a can't send music to user b, user a and user b must get their music from a "central server" (after they pay for it). With the recent MusicNet and Loudeye deals, legal implementation of Shawn Fannings service appears possible, but it's an illusion. There are other things at foot here. In this case, there is no legal implementation possible for Shawn Fannings illegal service. Here is why.

  Either you pay the artists, record companies, and the users who's hard drives are being used to transfer the music, or the music must come from an authorized source, in which case only the artists and record companies need to be paid. Since Shawn Fannings service is currently illegal, how can it be legalized? Simply put, it can't, that's not how logic and law for that matter work. A New legal service where users download directly from an authorized source like MusicNet or Loudeye is required, and that's where Shawn Fannings service really isn't his service, it's theirs. In this case Shawn Fannings currently illegal service would simply be providing a search engine for the legal music downloads, not the delivery from users hard drives but the delivery from MusicNet and Loudeye.

  It's complicated to follow if you don't understand the law, or the logic, but rather simple if you can understand what I've said.

  With 2 years of illegal use on building Shawn Fannings "company", and many months coming of court ordered damage settlements to the various companies suing Shawn Fannings "company" - with a $60 Million dollar loan also due payment, it is hard to see a silver lining here. Is there even one, a silver lining? Shawn Fannings "company" isn't bringing in any money - yet - and even if he does make some, will that be enough to pay the damages done in 2 years of illegal operation, the $60 M loan, along with the fees owed for these "agreements" with MusicNet and Loudeye? One thing is absolutely clear, Shawn Fannings service isn't legal, and when he or his "company" tell you that's what their moving towards - a subscription based service, it won't be theirs, but MusicNets' and Loudeyes.

  In this case who's legal service is it, and who is making the money? MusicNet and Loudeye along with the record companies and artists like they should be. Does anyone else see a lesson being taught here? Clever, very clever.

  Related AMO Articles:
   Shawn Fanning, money owed.
   MediaBay hits Shawn Fanning: another black eye.
   Aimster loses battle with AOL. to be bought by Vivendi
   Shawn Fanning crys FOUL!
   Shawn Fanning has injunction now.
   Shawn Fanning taking moves.
   The rise and fall of Shawn Fanning.