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This may be one of the fastest lawsuits/negotiations in the copyright fight era … Warner Music Group filed suit against social-net imeem last May, contending the company was infringing on its copyrights by letting users build and share online playlists. In June, without any of the majors on board, imeem launched an ad-supported service trading access for copyright — and making it possible for music rights holders to opt out. Now, the WSJ reports, WMG has dropped its suit in favor of the rev share deal, providing access to its entire catalog.
The Journal sees it as part of a trend where music companies work with new media instead of responding in knee-jerk fashion. It would be more convincing without federal court as a way station but, yes, Warner and others have been more willing to switch than fight having decided its better to bring in revenue, even the marginal kind, rather spend more on court costs. That doesn’t mean an end to copyright suits like this but it make them more of the exception than the rule.