made news last year when Michael Ovitz, once known as the “most powerful man in Hollywood” when he helmed the CAA talent agency, along with his business partner, grocery tycoon Ron Burkle, anted up $4 million to buy a majority stake in the Internet start-up. The site features various multi-media material for downloading, including songs and movie trailers. All material on is licensed, meaning that the various audio and video files are perfectly legal for distribution on the Net.

However, last month added a new service, the Scour Exchange. Like Napster, Scour Exchange connects individual computers creating a global file sharing community. Like Napster, mentions in its copyright statement that, once notified, it will remove access to any copyright infringing material, and states how copyright holders may contact the company to have such access blocked. Unlike Napster, however, the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as Dr. Dre and Metallica, are not currently suing

Ever since filing suit against Napster, the RIAA has conducted a very well planned publicity campaign against the San Mateo-Calif., company. Plus, there was the publicity event two weeks ago, orchestrated by Los Angeles attorney Howard King, where Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich delivered to Napster, 60 boxes of computer printouts listing Napster users who were distributing Metallica songs.

But when it comes to the Scour Exchange, those who have been so vocally opposed to Napster, have been noncommittal. The New York Times reported that RIAA CEO, Hilary Rosen, said that the organization did not want to file lawsuits against every “Napster-like service,” saying, “We don’t have any interest in litigating our way though the Internet.”

One of the more unusual aspects of the Scour Exchange is Ovitz’s involvement. Ovitz is also the founder of Artists Management Group, which manages several artists, including Blues Traveler, CIV and Liz Phair, whose intellectual property can be freely traded on the Scour Exchange in apparent violation of copyright law.

There is a growing opinion that the free exchange of copyrighted material over the Net may be inevitable, and that the solution may not be to sick the legal beagles on every company that facilitates such an exchange, but to find ways to use file trading to the advantage of the artist.