Grokster in Deal With Radio Site Mercora

Grokster Ltd., the company behind a popular but disputed file-sharing network, joined forces with Mercora Inc. to deliver the latter’s peer-to-peer radio service to Grokster users. Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Mercora enables users to listen online for free to songs broadcast from other users’ computers.

Grokster chief Daniel Rung said the alliance would give Grokster users a way to sample and discover music without running afoul of copyright owners -- and take a “big step in the right direction” toward a deal with the music industry that lets Grokster deliver authorized copies of songs.

The pact also gives Mercora, which pays royalties to labels, songwriters and performers, access to a much larger audience for future fee-based services.

-- Jon Healey



* Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Music site will begin featuring some artists from the independent music website in a deal both companies said was aimed at giving little-known musicians access to a broader audience.