LimeWire and Comedy Central Make Distribution Deal
October 29, 2008
As one of the last remaining P2P companies of any consequence, LimeWire seems to be struggling to find an identity in the file-sharing world. Is it a Gnutella application? Is it a BitTorrent application? A social network? A music store? How about a distribution point for Comedy Central's wares? It seems LimeWire is becoming the Jack of all Trades, but a master of what, no one knows.
The latest news in LimeWire's slow transformation from a cutting edge Gnutella application, and into something else, comes from Comedy Central. According to Fortune/CNN
, LimeWire and Comedy Central have teamed up to distribute comedy albums from such acts as Lewis Black, Dane Cook and Dennis Leary. The album deal represents a significant step forward for the LimeWire store, as it's currently populated with lesser-known independent work.
Making a deal with LimeWire apparently wasn't easy, as Comedy Central's parent company, Viacom, isn't a fan of free and unmitigated file-sharing. But it's hard to ignore the fact that LimeWire still maintains an impressive population, and considering the music store appears to be achieving a level of success, attempting to sell comedy albums on LimeWire simply boils down to making sense. Chances are good that the deal will succeed to a degree and it will benefit both Comedy Central and Limewire.
Who stands to make the most out of this deal? Good question. Comedy Central's success can be measured in dollars and cents. But LimeWire may have struck a gold mine in the quest for legitimacy. Although functionally LimeWire isn't all that much different than BitTorrent, the former has been sued by the music industry for enabling copyright infringement - BitTorrent has not. BitTorrent has successfully demonstrated that their protocol can be used as a legitimate avenue for distribution, something that has eluded most of the P2P developers. With this deal in place, LimeWire is now in a better position to demand equal treatment. But it still has a long road ahead.
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