The LA Times has reported that, in a major departure from the recording industry's campaign against P2P file-sharing technology, Sony BMG is cooperating with Grokster - the very same file-sharing company it sued for copyright infringement -- on a new venture called Mashboxx that will offer songs as paid downloads.
Mashboxx is being headed by former Grokster president Wayne Rosso, who resigned last year to head Spanish P2P firm Blubster. While it is still unclear if Mashboxx will be a true peer-to-peer service, people familiar with the venture told The Times that it would likely only offers users who search for a Sony BMG track the ability to download an low quality authorized version of the song nthat includes an offer to buy the CD-quality version. The service will likely run on technology developed by Snocap, a start-up founded by Napster founder Shawn Fanning. The Times believes that impetus for the Mashboxx project came from Sony BMG CEO Andrew Lack, who has urged other labels to support the venture.