Uprizer hits the usa

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From: Tom Whore (tomwhore@inetarena.com)
Date: Mon Aug 07 2000 - 14:29:24 PDT


Freenet takes music copyright battle to US by Jane Martinson ,

Uprizer is being touted as a direct descendent of
Napster, the online song-swapping company that last week lost its battle
against the recording industry over alleged copyright infringement. Ian
Clarke, the 23-year-old who set up Freenet and one of five founding
partners in Uprizer, said yesterday: "We intend to stay vigorously on the
right side of the law."

 Freenet Information Mr Clarke added that the company had found an
"innovative solution" to the "problem of rewarding artists for music". The
details will be kept under wraps until the December launch. It is also
unclear how Uprizer, which will use the open source Freenet software, is
to make money. Mr Clarke explained how the new venture would bypass
copyright protection laws by citing the example of Stephen King, the
blockbuster novelist, who is asking for voluntary payment for each online
instalment of his latest novel. Like Mr King, Mr Clarke claims that
Uprizer will not insist on everybody paying, just enough people to ensure
profitability. He explained: "The public pays, but collectively rather
than individually." Mr Clarke said that several established musicians had
expressed an interest in working with Uprizer, which is to be based in Los
Angeles. The company is also keen to offer a service to relative unknowns,
he added. "We are really keen to help the small guy. We want to
democratise the process so you won't need to sell your soul to the devil
to get a recording contract," he said. Mr Clarke founded Freenet at
Edinburgh University. The software is intended to stop any agency from
being able to trace online requests. This relative anonymity has made it
more difficult for regulators or lawyers to shut it down. In an interview
with the New York Post, Mr Clarke taunted the Recording Industry
Association of America, which brought the successful lawsuit against
Napster. "Nobody - myself included - can shut down Freenet. Any legal
action against me would be just as ridiculous as taking legal action
against the manufacturer of womens' tights that were used in a bank
robbery," he said. After Napster lost its court battle last week online
users have flocked to services like Freenet, which allows video, text and
music, to be downloaded. Napster, which has won a temporary reprieve by
appealing against the judgment, has itself reported an increase in custom
since the injunction. Mr Clarke is to become chief technology officer at
Uprizer, which will be headed by Rob Kramer. Fred Goldring and Ken Herz,
lawyers for the music industry, are also founders of the company.

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