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It's Been a Rough Start for the Next Big Thing in File Sharing

Three days after it launched, Aurous is facing a lawsuit from the music industry and tepid reviews from file sharers.
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Photographer: Getty Images

Over the past month, a service called Aurous has been making many people in the music business very nervous by promising to make it easy for anyone to access music for free. The idea is to build a friendly interface that pulls in music from many sources, inspiring comparisons to Popcorn Time and Grooveshark, which have been linked to widespread copyright infringement. But Aurous’s road to becoming the next big thing in file sharing is looking rocky. 

The service launched over the weekend in what it's describing as an early testing period. On Tuesday, the Recording Industry Association of America sued it, asking a federal judge to shut down the service and fine it $150,000 for every instance of copyright infringement it facilitated. This couldn’t have come as much of a surprise to Andrew Sampson, Aurous’s founder. In an interview with Billboard, he gave a defense that will be familiar to anyone who has followed the battle between content companies and file sharers.