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eDonkey Settles for $30 Million

Postby SlyckTom » Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:19 pm

MetaMachine, the company behind the eDonkey client, has long been a staple of the P2P community. Before there was eMule, before there was BitTorrent, and way before ThePirateBay, the dominating source of information was via the eDonkey client.

This story began in 2002, shortly after the fall of Napster. During this time, P2P development in the United States was a superfluous affair. Dozens, if not close to a hundred various P2P companies of all shapes and sizes began populating the American landscape. One of those companies was MetaMachine, based in the city of New York.

MetaMachine was led by two ambitious and talented individuals, Sam Yagan and Jed McCaleb. Together they forged the eDonkey client; a revolutionary application that changed the way large files were traded online. The eDonkey client connected to the eDonkey2000 network. At the time of its launch, it was a small and fledgling network with little in the way of content. Also, the P2P landscape was dominated by FastTrack, which carried an adequate supply of videos and large files.

But eDonkey succeed where FastTrack failed. eDonkey’s technology was light years ahead of FastTrack in its ability to transfer large files. Similarly to BitTorrent, eDonkey broke large files into small segments and created micro-swarms which greatly enhanced the efficiency of file-transfers. eDonkey also allowed independent operators to establish their own indexing servers, which scattered the eDonkey2000 network throughout the globe. A more decentralized version of the network, dubbed Overnet, was another great step forward for P2P. However people’s attachment to centralized communities never allowed for this advanced network to supplant eDonkey2000 – rather it functioned to supplement it.

eDonkey also took advantage of indexing websites. Such websites contained verified links, or hash links, which nearly guaranteed a successful and accurate download. The same could not be said for FastTrack, which was quickly coming known for corrupt and false files. Massive indexing sites such as ShareReactor, ShareConnector and the web-independent RazorBack were the de facto standards of the eDonkey2000 network.

Although BitTorrent would soon become the largest file-sharing network in terms of bandwidth consumption, eDonkey2000 never faded away. Its uncanny ability to locate rare and odd files has never quiet been replaced. Even today, many nations around the world prefer eDonkey2000 over any other network. Although exact numbers are difficult to place on P2P networks, it is generally accepted that eDoneky2000 has well over 4 million users at any given time.

However eDonkey2000’s longevity under MetaMachine was not to be. In June of 2005, after a lengthy battle throughout the United States court system, the entertainment industry finally achieved the intrinsic victory it has fought so long to achieve. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court remanded the MGM vs. Grokster case back to the lower courts. The Supreme Court stated that file-sharing developers could be sued for copyright infringement if they induced such behavior. The specific definition of “induce” has yet to be defined by the lower courts; however decision sparked a domino effect in the P2P community. In September of 2005, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) sent several commercial P2P developers cease and desist letters, demanding they prevent their users from infringing on their member company’s copyrights.

"We demand that you immediately cease-and-desist from enabling and inducing the infringement of RIAA member sound recordings. If you wish to discuss pre-litigation resolution of these claims against you, please contact us immediately."

One by one, the vanguard of the commercial P2P industry fell. Grokster, BearShare, WinMX, and iMesh settled. The notable exception was Ares Galaxy, who’s sole developer Alberto Treves opened the source to his client and network.

MetaMachine’s Sam Yagan also indicated his intention to comply. Testifying before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Sam Yagan stated that he believed the RIAA’s interpretation of the Supreme Court decision was incorrect, but he simply did not have the funds necessary to defend his network and client. With no other recourse available to him, he conceded defeat.

“…I am not here as an active participant in the future of P2P, but rather as one who has thrown in his towel and with no interest in replaying past issues…” Yagan stated.

In the months that followed that September testimony, little appeared to happen on the eDonkey2000 website. Curiously, there were even hints from developer Jeb McCaleb that a new version was in the works. Any hope of this however is now long dashed, as the end of the eDonkey client is now at hand. On September 11, eDonkey users were greeted with the following pop-up message from their client:

"The eDonkey2000 client is no longer available. See eDonkey2000.com for details."

Few details were available until later today, when an all too familiar message appeared on the eDonkey2000 homepage:

“The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available. If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law. Courts around the world - including the United States Supreme Court - have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal downloading.

“You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material. Your IP address is XX.XXX.XXX.XX and has been logged. Respect the music, download legally. Goodbye Everyone.”

A similar message appeared during Grokster’s banishment; and similarly the IP address of the visiting computer was published. This of course is little more than a fear tactic designed to insight a sense of vulnerability – as visiting eDonkey2000.com is not illegal.

But now eDonkey2000.com is gone, as MetaMachine has settled officially with the entertainment industry for $30 million (US.) According to the settlement agreement, which was made available to Slyck.com, there doesn't appear to be much of a future in the file-sharing realm for eDonkey or MetaMachine.

[The defendants...] shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from directly, indirectly, contributory or vicariously infringing in any many any copyright in any and all sound recording and other copyrighted works..."

[The defendants...] shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from directly or indirectly, or assisting in or supporting the operation of, any copter server or website, or distributing any software, in any way related to the eDonkey System or Software or any other peer to peer or file-trading network or their network, service or medium [that encourages copyright infringement.]

[The defendants...] shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from directly or indirectly releasing [the eDonkey source code or technology.]

The defendants are also prohibited from selling or transferring any significant part of the MetaMachine business or other assets without the consent of the Court, as well as waive their right to appeal.

While MetaMachine's future in unknown, the creation that Sam Yagan and Jed McCaleb manifested is anything but destroyed. eDonkey is just one client that connects to the eDonkey2000 network. Although the eDonkey client is officially annihilated, it comprised of only a small market share of this network – at most only 10%.

Instead, the open source and open community client eMule is the true spear head of the eDonkey2000 network. With a market share of now 100%, most eDonkey2000 fans will continue on with their daily routine as if nothing ever happened.

MetaMachine’s gift to the file-sharing world won’t be forgotten. Millions of file-sharers who participate on this network can tip their hat to the people who’ve made it possible.
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Postby Neurotoxine » Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:47 pm

We've been discussing this here:

http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25999

Anyway, thanks for the missing info!
8)
Am I dreaming or is this... Death?
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Postby zbeast » Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:51 pm

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

er: No not really. I've never really used the client the only reason why I even had it installed is because I was doing some performance comparison testing with the client.

I have to say more people were upset when winmx went down.

If a company fails you should always release your source code.
It's the only right thing to do.
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Postby Gadget » Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:59 pm

zbeast wrote:If a company fails you should always release your source code.
It's the only right thing to do.

Jed did state, a while back, that if eDonkey couldn't bounce back, he might think about releasing the source code, but now, with this comment in mind ...
Under terms of the latest agreement, MetaMachine and its top executives, Sam Yagan and Jed McCaleb, agreed to immediately cease distributing eDonkey, eDonkey 2000, Overnet and other software versions.

Full article

... maybe the source code is part of the package ?
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Postby JayC32 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:22 pm

Gadget a zbeast in the original post by ST:
[The defendants...] shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from directly or indirectly releasing [the eDonkey source code or technology.]


I would say that means a no-no to releasing the source code.
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Postby pattiluce » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:43 pm

be careful if you d/l the edonkey...have you seen the front page of sharethe files.com?

got mule, but its taking forever to work!!!!!!
Flavour your words with care you may have to eat them
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Postby JayC32 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:46 pm

It's the queue system just leave it running it picks up over time. You will get queue boosts as you upload from the clients you have uploaded too.
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Postby P2P_G » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:49 pm

This isn't so bad for the network but still sad :cry: There ware many eDonkey2000 fans...i was a eD2k2000 fan too....but then i liked the open source emule more. ;)
Piracy Will Never Die.
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Postby Trev0r269 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:55 pm

I was under the impression Meta Machine was only made of a few people.

How will they pay $30,000,000?
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Postby Mercer » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:57 pm

Ok, question to someone who hopefully knows WAY more about the edonkey2000 client than I do.

If memory serves, the 1.4.3b version was released before MetaMachine even recieved it's first action letter. Does anyone know if that correctly implies that this version does NOT have any of the various uninstall backdoors etc. etc.? I've been runnning it for oh, almost 24 hrs now, and it's working EXACTLY like 1.4.5/6 did before this whole fiasco.

Anyone care to forward an opinion if not an actual answer?
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Postby JayC32 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:58 pm

MM was a commercial profit making business. They will have to come up with the money and assets may be sold to cover it.
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Postby terryb » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:01 pm

holy crap of course they cant pay 30million. it's all for effect.

and get your history right please. edonkey was around before kazaa. why you think its called edonkey2000? because it was released in 2000.
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Postby Trev0r269 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:02 pm

JayC32 wrote:MM was a commercial profit making business. They will have to come up with the money and assets may be sold to cover it.


I'm sure the 30 million dollar figure was reached within some reason, but how much equipment can they have if it was a 5-person limited liability corporation? If they weren't incorporated then their personal assets are on the chopping block as well.
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Postby quick » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:03 pm

So we can officially put edonkey to graveyard
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Postby terryb » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:05 pm

JayC32 wrote:MM was a commercial profit making business. They will have to come up with the money and assets may be sold to cover it.


what assets would those be? no ones gonna buy the source code. they have/had a pokey office in new jersey. and the six people who paid twenty bucks for edonkey over the last year arent gonna help much.
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Postby IceCube » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:14 pm

Does anyone know if there are any servers (for the ED2K network that is) associated with MetaMachine or is every single server independant of MM?
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Postby terryb » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:17 pm

all servers are independent of mm. have been since earliest days.
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Postby Trev0r269 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:23 pm

terryb wrote:
JayC32 wrote:MM was a commercial profit making business. They will have to come up with the money and assets may be sold to cover it.


what assets would those be? no ones gonna buy the source code. they have/had a pokey office in new jersey. and the six people who paid twenty bucks for edonkey over the last year arent gonna help much.


They probably have a building of some size, equipment of some amount, add revenue from their website and from "pro" versions of the client. Can all of this equal 30 million U.S. dollars? Someone thinks its reasonable...
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Postby JayC32 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:29 pm

Then there is the wonderfull thing called bankruptcy if all else fails.

terry is correct someone else stepped in to maintain and update the server software when eDonkey decided to concentrate on Overnet and leave the ed2k network, they realised it wasn't going to go the way they had wanted and came back to the netwoek. No attacking them trying something new may have worked.
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Postby yaveznodo » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:33 pm

Please, please let this thing die. Don't let it get into the necrophiliac obsession people seem to have with WinMX. It's over, gone, move on... emule is right there waiting, open source, and FREE. Move on now. I'd love Audiogalaxy to be alive still, but it died and I moved on.

R.I.P Edonkey2000
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Postby IceCube » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:38 pm

I do know that shortly after the news broke, the eMule forums have spotted a few eDonkey2000 users willing to make the switch to eMule.

It was reported that the Overnet network suffered a major loss in user count since the shutdown.

Edit: Thanks for the info on the servers :)
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Postby JayC32 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:40 pm

God yav you make me feel old I remember AG I loved it on my dial up connect I could get a few in the hour I left it running while I was in the bath. :D
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Postby Iron » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:09 pm

It's unfortunate to see the client finally get shut down, but we've seen it coming for quite some time. Guess it's time to find something else to pour my time and energy into...
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Free Porn

Postby svg_master » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:11 pm

Yes I am sad Edonkey is dead.
They were great lads and I appreciated all they did for me and my friends.

So said, where can we now get some free decent porn????
Hope we are not facing starvation or DROUGHT!!!!! lol
Sincerely

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