The most recent major artist to go this route is Mark Knopfler, who has entered an agreement with Crowfly Live to sell individual recordings of performances from his current Shangri-La world tour.

Crowfly Live is a new online service from Crowfly Digital Entertainment, a Nashville-based company launched by 821 Entertainment Group. Crowfly, which has partnered with PassAlong Networks to provide core technology, is presenting itself as a turn-key solution to enable performers to communicate directly with fans via individual artist Web sites.

Knopfler’s performances are currently being recorded using AMD64 technology. AMD64 Masters Group member Chuck Ainlay, who also co-produced Knopfler’s recordings, is supervising the mixing and mastering of each live recording.

Recordings of selected Shangri-La dates are being sold through the Sultan of Swing’s official Web site for $14.99. In addition, Knopfler’s complete, post-Dire Straits discography is also being sold on the Web site for $9 per.

“I have never objected to fans recording performances for themselves,” Knopfler said. “However, with this new technology we are in a position to make available to our audiences something of the highest quality they can keep as a lasting souvenir of the night.”

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision that song-swapping companies may be sued for the infringing activities of their users, iMesh has cut a deal with Sony BMG as part of its strategy to become a fully authorised P2P music-sharing service.

IMesh, which originally launched in Israel but is now headquartered in New York City, began life as one of the first Napster clones to emerge while the original song-swapper was still fighting its legal destiny in a federal courtroom. However, unlike the original Napster, the company managed to keep the recording industry’s legal hounds at bay by promising to transform the service via a copyright-friendly environment. The Sony BMG deal is only one in a string of developments to occur at iMesh in its quest to provide a legal file-sharing service.

Future plans call for iMesh to launch both an à la carte download service, and an unlimited download subscription plan. The revamped iMesh will also offer access to multiple sources of content, including the non-centralized Gnutella P2P network. However, iMesh will also incorporate technology allowing copyright holders to register their content thus controlling how their material might be traded and used.

IMesh also recently announced the hiring of a music pro to oversee the entire operation. He’s former Sony Music International and president of RCA Records, Robert Summer, who now occupies the position of executive chairman at iMesh.

“Sony BMG was quick to recognize the commitment of iMesh to transition the power and attraction of P2P file sharing to an authorized model that would acknowledge underlying rights while enhancing the consumer8 experience,” Summer said when announcing iMesh’s deal with the major label.

“We look forward to working with Sony BMG as we jointly usher in a new era of music distribution.”