Under the deal Altnet will distribute secure authorised content to users of Groksters latest release, 2.6, via its TopSearch Gold Icon program. This is a paid search utility that gives preferential placement results in the form of Gold Icons for keyword requests spanning music, software, videos and games.
"This distribution agreement creates further opportunity for content owners to benefit from the aggregate traffic on Altnet's syndicated network," said Derek Broes, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations for Altnet. "Our partnerships with peer-to-peer and web services have proven that consumers will pay for and share files that have been licensed to them."
"The result is a win-win for both sides," said Broes. "For content owners, we provide a one-stop, secure content management and distribution platform that allows providers to reach a growing audience at the most opportune time - when users are searching for their content. For consumers, we make it easy for them to buy licensed, high-quality content."
Altnet first joined a commercial deal with Kazaa, which ran into controversy when users found Altnet software had been installed on their computers without their knowledge. In an effort to keep people using p2p software once the unauthorised music files had been removed from shared folders, Kazaa and Altnet have resorted to paying people to host part of the service.
Grokster is still in legal action with the Recording Industry Association of America over whether peer-to-peer software is legal, despite winning a court hearing in April 2003.
Altnet uses digital rights management (DRM) technology to allow content providers to manage their files in real time and alter pricing, graphics and other features associated with their content. Grokster's latest version will also include Altnet's payment gateway, which allows micro payments via a one-click process.