Scour song-swapping site to close

Scour cuts and runs in an attempt to minimise the pain of bankruptcy

Music file-sharing service Scour announced Tuesday it is to close down its exchange site in the next two days. This strategy is intended to help resolve upcoming litigation and ease the sale of the company's assets in the Bankruptcy Court.

The announcement came in the wake of the US court's decision to grant the Los Angeles-based company's motion to disable its file-sharing application.

"We believe our unilateral decision to take down the Exchange will facilitate a resolution of the copyright infringement litigation pending against Scour," Scour president Dan Rodrigues said in a statement.

Scour began life as a search engine that located multimedia content across the web, and was written by students from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In April, it launched SX, allowing users to share images, audio and video files.

The music-sharing service was sued in July by three entertainment industry associations, which alleged that the new file-swapping service violated copyrights by allowing users to share files for free.

Earlier this month, music Web site offered to buy the Scour's assets, which would not have made it responsible for Scour's legal liabilities. Scour filed its voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition 12 October, 2000.

However, Scour, which is partly owned by Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz, said it will consider bids for its assets until 12 December.

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