Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2006 (Revised March 2007)

eDonkey--Deciding the Future of File Sharing

by Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Abstract

Sam Yagan, CEO of the upstart MetaMachine, Inc., received a letter from the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) asking him to shut down eDonkey, MetaMachine's popular file-sharing system. In September 2005, more than 30 million users relied on eDonkey to share digital files, making MetaMachine's software the most popular file-sharing client in the world. But now the end seemed close. Was there a way to save eDonkey? Was it time for Yagan to get out? He had little time to figure out his next move.

Keywords: Software; Crisis Management; Music Entertainment; Legal Liability; Copyright; Information Technology Industry; Music Industry; United States;

Citation:

Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "eDonkey--Deciding the Future of File Sharing." Harvard Business School Case 707-482, November 2006. (Revised March 2007.)