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CenterSpan Wins Bid for Scour Assets
By Margee Fagelson
(more articles from this author)
2000-12-20
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Dec. 13, 2000--CenterSpan Communications (Nasdaq:CSCC) announced today that it was named the successful bidder of the assets of Scour, Inc.

Scour.com was a fabulous website, offering two different kinds of access to all the entertainment fit to collect. On their site, they featured a search engine with immediate upload to idrive.com. Also there was a very simple, robust peer-to-peer file sharing functionality which served me nicely when I was looking for Kidney Thieves or Rex Smith or David Bowie and Bing Crosby.

Unfortunately, they were part of the 2000 travesties. In July, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) decided to take their tantrums out on Scour and began legal proceedings against them. In order to save themselves, Scour filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2000, which automatically stayed all pending litigation against them. This also opened up the playing field to a bidding war for Scour's assets. First out of the gate was Listen.com, who promised to buy Scour and shut it down. At the last minute, Liquid Audio put a bid in, but the winner of the auction was a…gasp…outsider!

CenterSpan Communications came out of left field…er…I mean…Oregon. Long story short, they bid, they won.

Ray Santamaria, former Business Development for Scour, "I don't know anything about CenterSpan, but they appear to be focused on technology. With the acquisition of Scour, I hope they focus on being a technology provider rather than becoming a brand. Success will come not from trying to convince the record labels that they have THE working business model, but rather technology that can power various models and complement current music economics. The developments of the past year prove that corporate content owners will do everything in their power to control distribution and the cost of goods. You just can't compete against that and be profitable in today's online environment. Scour's bankruptcy and Napster's deal with BMG are evidence of that.

Centerspan is a software developer and games developer who got $10 million in funding, $9 million to spend on Scour assets. Centerspan hopes to launch a licensed p2p service to compete with Napster, Flycode, Gnutella, and other. But what about branding and street cred? Who are these folks and what experience do they have in music? They did pitch Richard Dieguez, founder of The Circle, a NYC music business forum, about speaking at one of the meetings. But what would they have to offer a room full - a world full - of music and technology aficionados? There are still too many music-tech companies started by people with no music industry knowledge. There are plenty of qualified folks still on the market - yours truly occasionally included - and Napster already has brand loyalty; Gnutella isn't nearly as hard as the pundits would have you believe and Flycode was founded by ex-Napsterites. Even if they keep the Scour brand, who are these guys who just bought themselves a seat at the table?

Linkography

CenterSpan - www.centerspan.com
Flycode - www.flycode.com
Gnutella - http://gnutella.wego.com
idrive.com - www.idrive.com
Listen.com - www.listen.com
MPAA - www.mpaa.com
Napster - www.napster.com
NMPA - www.nmpa.org
RIAA - www.riaa.com
Scour - www.scour.com
The Circle - www.rpdieguez.com/thecircle.html

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» Scour Responds to Lawsuit from RIAA, MPAA and the NMPA with Powerhouse Defense Team (2000-08-08)
» Film and Music Industries Think Scour is Sour (2000-08-02)

Related News from Mi2N:
» CenterSpan Closes Acquisition Of Scour Assets
» CenterSpan Named Successful Bidder In Scour Auction
» Liquid Audio To Bid On Scour, Inc. Peer-to-Peer Technology Assets
» Listen.com/Scour Deal
» Statement By RIAA President And Ceo RIAA Hilary Rosen On Listen.Com Buying Scour.Com


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