HITS Daily Double
"Our plan is to create a legal content distribution in conjunction with rights holders."
——Keith Halasy, CenterSpan Corporate Marketing Director


Oregon "Secure Distribution" Netco Outbids Listen.com and Liquid for Assets
Oregon tech company CenterSpan has beaten out high-profile rivals Listen.com and Liquid Audio for the assets of multimedia file-swap netco Scour, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October after being hit with a joint lawsuit by the RIAA and MPAA.

CenterSpan, which is partially funded by Intel, is dedicated to "secure" digital content distribution. It scored the beleaguered but admired Scour's assets—including its peer-to-peer Scour SX software and architecture—for $5.5 million in cash and $3.5 million worth of stock, at $10.50 a share. Listen.com, the original bidder for the multimedia file-sharing service, offered some $5.5 million plus 527,000 shares of stock, at $2.956 per share. CenterSpan announced its bid on 11/14. According to CenterSpan, employment offers have been extended to Scour's team.

"We're very excited about the process that's about to begin to integrate the team and the technology, working with the Scour brand and Web site, reaching out to their user base and communicating with them about our plans," Corporate Marketing Director Keith Halasy enthused to hitsdailydouble.com. "We've done an assessment of Scour's assets; now begins the process of mapping the integration into our digital distribution platform, C*, which we've been working on for some time. We'll be working to integrate the Scour brand into those plans.

"Our plan is to provide legal content distribution in conjunction with rights holders," Halasy continues, pointing out that although the technology can handle the exchange of all kinds of media, initial talks have been with record companies. "We've had conversations with three of the six major labels and been received very favorably. We're looking forward to showing live demos of our technology in January."

Listen.com, meanwhile, issued a really sweet note to wish their opponents great good luck with the stuff they'd paid too much for.

"More than any other company, Listen.com thoroughly researched the value of Scour's assets, met with the Scour team and determined exactly how an acquisition would benefit us and our syndication partners," reads a statement from Listen.com's chief Rob Reid. "With this information, we knew exactly what Scour was worth to us. We saw absolutely no benefit in spending more than this amount.

"As CenterSpan integrates Scour's assets," the release adds, "we look forward to working with them and other peer-to-peer companies to use our syndication services and tools to build a music delivery system and interface that leads to a more compelling and worthwhile consumer experience. Now, does anyone have change of a twenty?"