Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Big Music Label Foe LimeWire’s Newest Executive: A Big Music Label Veteran

limewire-logWhat do you do when your job working for a big music label disappears? You go to work for a pirate-friendly file-sharing service that’s being sued by the big music labels.

That’s the path that Jason Herskowitz has chosen. Old job: VP of product management at Total Music, Universal Music and Sony’s (SNE) attempt to create a service that offered either free downloads or free streaming music as a way to combat file-sharing. It collapsed earlier this year and Project Playlist bought some of its parts.

New job: VP of product management at LimeWire, one of the last (one of the only?) high-profile peer-to-peer file-sharing companies based in the U.S. Not surprisingly, the service was embroiled with industry lawsuits for three years running.

Here’s Herskowitz’s blog post announcing his new job and his pending move to Brooklyn (Welcome, Jason! Pretty sure we’re neighbors.) from Washington D.C. It’s not a crazy career move: A job is a job and there aren’t that many in digital music these days. Besides, I hear that LimeWire has nice offices.

Which reminds me: How is it, exactly, that LimeWire stays afloat when the labels have been able to force so many of its peers to shut down? Good question. I’ve asked around and heard murmurings that the labels and the file-sharing service may be able to work out some kind of agreement, but I’ve heard that every 12 months or so. So I’ll believe it in when I see it.

In the meantime, LimeWire continues to allow you to download just about any song (and many other things) you can imagine over the Web for free, without paying anyone a cent. Though if you do try to download a copyrighted song, you do get this stern warning from the service. I take it in the same spirit as the warnings head shops give you when they say the bong they’re selling is for tobacco use only (click to enlarge):


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