Defunct P2P music startup Weedshare is auctioning off its assets consisting of its brand, its operational data, four web servers and some IP including a patent sharing agreement with Microsoft. The company is trying to find a buyer interested in taking over all the assets, but the patent sharing agreement seems to be the potential money maker here, with minimum bids starting at 105,000 USD.

Weedshare used to distribute DRMed music files through file sharing networks. The company allowed three free plays before users had to buy a track. It also developed some sort of pyramid scheme to reward users for sharing its music.

It was no secret in the industry that Weedshare wasn't really making lots of money, but the auction leaves no doubt about how little success the company had: Weedshare was only able to sell 35,000 tracks in four years of operation. Weedshare used to sell tracks for as little as 0.50 USD, so the company really didn't make any money at all.

Weedshare shut down in spring of 07 and initially blamed Microsoft for its failure because its DRM system wasn't compatible with the newest Windows Media Player version. The Weedshare folks now seem to understand that the whole idea of selling DRM-protected music through file sharing networks wasn't all that great either. They recently posed a message on a Weedshare-related Yahoo group that in part read:

"Lesson learned: even benign DRM is a bad idea. All forms of friction must be eliminated for authorized file sharing to work."

(Thanks, Rob!)

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