NEW YORK Warner Music Group Corp said on
Thursday it is dropping its copyright infringement lawsuit
against Imeem, a music-based social networking site, and will
instead partner with the start-up.
Warner, the world's fourth largest music company, said it
will make its songs and videos available to Imeem users in
North America for free, on-demand streaming that will be
supported by advertising.
Warner, home to artists including Madonna, T.I. and Red Hot
Chili Peppers, filed a lawsuit in May against San Francisco-
based Imeem for allowing fans to share its music without
permission. Warner claimed the company built a base of over 16
million users by capitalizing on the "illegal use of 'free
Imeem relaunched its social network last month as an
advertising-backed music service and offered to share the
revenue with artists and record companies.
Imeem also revamped the site to impose limits on users who
want to upload their music and share song playlists. Users can
still upload most of their music, but the service will only
play 30-second clips rather than the whole song.
Imeem is the fourth most popular multimedia entertainment
site in the United States after Google Inc's YouTube, Google
Video and News Corp's MySpace Videos, according to tracking
Major record companies such as Warner are increasingly
trying to strike a balance between curbing online piracy and
forming partnerships with industry newcomers as they look for
new ways to promote and distribute music to fans.
Warner also settled with online music retailer AnywhereCD
last month after initially suing the company for breach of
contract. Warner had said the San Diego-based company made
digital versions of its albums available online without copy