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Falling Fast: Scour Exchange
Posted by netwebly 11.15.2000

Update: 12.15.2000 - Following a widely publicized legal battle with the RIAA and subsequent bankruptcy, Scour has been aquired by Centerspan. For the time being, the Scour Exchange network has been unplugged, meaning if you're looking for a way to share and download multimedia files you will need to look elsewhere.

and iMesh are two leading alternatives with good reviews. Gnutella is obviously another option worth considering.

Centerspan is aiming for a rerelease early next year. Expect the reborn Scour to generate substantial interest. People clearly want to be able to find and download multimedia quickly and easily, something the original Scour did with surprising efficency.

The prognosis?

Well, that all depends on what Centerspan decides to do with its new nine million dollar toy. An aggressive approach could produce huge dividends. A feeble effort which delivers weak content, on the other hand, could fail spectacularly. The state of affairs at another Centerspan backed project, may provide an early indicator of what the future holds.

Scour Exchange - Our Original Review
Legal experts are divided about the prospects for this multimedia file sharing service, partially owned by Hollywood super agent Michael Ovitz, who has been trying as hard as possible to distance himself from the project since the recording industry started making angry noises.

Fans on the other hand, have already made up their minds: they love it.

Much of the same content available on Napster can be found here, along with bootleg downloads of recent full length feature films like Gladiator and Star Wars: the Phantom Menace.

I fought the Law and the Law...
The inevitable lawsuit by the Motion Picture Association of America is already underway. There is some reason, however, to think the company may have a better defense than Napster.
Because the service provides access to wide variety of file types and formats, it will not be a simple matter for Industry lawyers to portray Scour as a pure piracy portal.

Dateline: Los Angeles - September 22nd
It appears that unlike Napster, which has been able to convert notoriety and massive publicity into a viable legal defense Scour is both unwilling and unable to fight off attacks by the entertainment industry. This may say more about the internal dynamics of the company and the character of its backers than it does about the inherent weakness of its legal position.

Shortly after the MPAA filed suit Scour announced it was laying off a significant percentage of its staff, ostensibly to preserve funds for the coming court case.


By September the company had filed for bankruptcy in Federal court, claiming that it is no longer able to meet its financial obligations to creditors.

Visitors say the Scour site shows all the signs of a desperate dot com about to let out its final death gurgle. For the time being the scour web site remains active and the Scour exchange service operational.

Apparently convinced that pop-up advertising will give Scour the breathing room it needs to launch some sort of kamikazee counterattack, the company has increased the frequency with which they appear on its web site. This means you can't click far without running into a pop-up, which makes surfing the site about as exhilerating as a trip to

Things are ugly here. They're going to get uglier.

The question is: How ugly?

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