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Kazaa to be shut down? 419

Posted by chrisd
from the it-aint-piracy-unless-you-have-an-eyepatch dept.
darkpriest writes "According to this article on The Register, the file sharing software KazaA has been ordered to cease copyright infringment. They have two weeks to comply with the Judges ruling or face a penalty of $40,000 a day." CD: We've gotten a number of submissions about this, I had no idea Kazaa was this popular (must be all those a's in their name). I bet anyday that the RIAA will sue cisco for making routers that could be used to infringe.
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Kazaa to be shut down?

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  • Popularity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spectral (158121) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:41AM (#2634978)
    Actually, according to download.com [download.com], kazaa and morpheus (which are the same program/network, really..) are the top two most downloaded programs.. Which makes me wonder if it's just Kazaa that was ordered to cease and desist, or does musiccity have to comply also? It's the same p2p network, with decentralized servers (I believe? I don't know all that much about their network), unlike napster's centrally controlled server farms.
    • Re:Popularity (Score:5, Informative)

      by nsample (261457) <<nsample> <at> <stanford.edu>> on Friday November 30, 2001 @02:28AM (#2635078) Homepage
      We did a study in the P2P group at Stanford two months ago... with pretty interesting results. Kazaa (as monitored through a Morpheus client gateway) consistently topped out at over 50 terabytes of data and peeked at just over 1.1 million active clients. It's becoming truly ubiquitous, and it's growth rates (in terms of both users and size) indicate that they will be the unquestionable king of P2P in short order.

      It's pretty clear that it's a big part of the reason they're being targetted by the BSA, RIAA, etc. currently... I can only hope that University research into these things doesn't fuel the corporate interests backing the anti-P2P movement.

    • by jquirke (473496) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:00AM (#2635570)
      The FastTrack network has a very scalable two-level structure. Every computer on the network is initially a 'node', however nodes with significant bandwidth are promoted to 'supernode' status.

      The KaZaa/Morpheus servers handle logging in and refer the node to a supernode, where the node sends its list of files it wants to share. These super-nodes store these lists, and search queries are forwarded to the supernodes.

      A supernode also gives the lists of some of the clients its connected to, so if the supernode disappears nodes can talk to other nodes about supernodes without getting kicked off the network.

      So, effectively the network is controlled by the supernodes, which can be just ordinary PCs with reasonable bandwidth. The KaZaa servers only handle the logging in pretty much, so I doubt the FastTrack network could ever technically be shut down. Unfortunately the FastTrack protocol is very proprietary, and uses some closed-source algorithms. It would be good to see someone create an open-source 'equivalent' of the p2p protocol with the excellent features of FastTrack.

      Anyway that's just my understanding of the FastTrack network, correct me if I'm wrong.
      • by WD (96061) on Friday November 30, 2001 @10:54AM (#2636264)
        It would be good to see someone create an open-source 'equivalent' of the p2p protocol with the excellent features of FastTrack.

        Try OpenFT / giFT [sourceforge.net].
      • by steve_bryan (2671) on Friday November 30, 2001 @12:25PM (#2636857)
        The open protocol equivalent of the FastTrack network is Gnutella. From all appearences the FastTrack network uses a slightly modified gnutella protocol. It is tricky to pin down exactly what improves the FastTrack experience but I would say it is the two-tiered network where only the supernodes have the responsibility of routing most packet traffic.

        Ironically this modification of the gnutella protocol was introduced about a year ago by Clip2 when they introduced their Reflector. FastTrack made the observation that this sort of enhancement should be an organizing principle for the entire network rather than a marginal enhancement. It helps to minimize network traffic while extending network visibility horizon by orders of magnitude (by the ratio of nodes : supernodes).

        Even as these events transpire the various gnutella clients are in the process of implementing the two layer structure in a very public presentation and review of the needed protocol modifications. Simultaneously we are in the process of adding full file hash values in order to improve the quality of files that can be found and downloaded over gnutella. When hash information has been successfully deployed on the gnutella network we will also be able to implement swarm downloads.

        It is a slower process to have a public protocol evolve to respond to empirical results for a variety of clients. But in the end it might be a more robust method.
      • by wideangle (169366) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:42PM (#2637326) Homepage

        Much like Napster and Gnutella, search results in Morpheus contain the IP addresses of peers sharing the files that match the search criteria, and file downloads are purely peer-to-peer. As is the case with Gnutella, file transfers are via the HTTP protocol. Because of this, each peer is essentially a Web server. With knowledge of the appropriate URLs, Clip2 was able to successfully download files from Morpheus peers using Microsoft Internet Explorer.

        A typical Morpheus file download request looks like this:

        GET /4431/Martin+Luther+King+Jr.+-
        +I+have+a+dream.mp 3 HTTP/1.1
        Host: 10.20.31.42:1214
        UserAgent: KazaaClient May 7 2001 16:00:44
        X-Kazaa-Username: anon
        X-Kazaa-Network: MusicCity
        X-Kazaa-IP: 102.12.97.42:1214
        X-Kazaa-SupernodeIP: 113.103.15.82:1214
        Connection: close
        X-Kazaa-XferId: 2956456

        Upon receiving the above download request, a Morpheus peer sends a response like this:

        HTTP/1.1 200 OK
        Content-Length: 4381547
        Accept-Ranges: bytes
        Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 20:43:32 GMT
        Server: KazaaClient May 7 2001 15:59:09
        Connection: close
        Last-Modified: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 22:31:02 GMT
        X-Kazaa-Network: KaZaA
        X-Kazaa-IP: 10.20.31.42:1214
        X-Kazaa-SupernodeIP: 120.23.123.227:1214
        X-KazaaTag: 5=274
        X-KazaaTag: 21=128
        X-KazaaTag: 4=I have a dream
        X-KazaaTag: 6=Martin Luther King Jr.
        X-KazaaTag: 14=Speeches
        X-KazaaTag: 3=asqK3s/zY2oC4IaGYq3gJYWLcKo=
        Content-Type: audio/mpeg

        Note the use of metadata headers describing the requested file. Also, note the repeated occurrence of the "Kazaa" name in these headers.

        Following the HTTP response, the number of bytes specified in the "Content-length" header is sent from the peer sharing the file to the one who sent the download request, and the connection is closed. [more...] [openp2p.com]

  • by bonoboy (98001) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:44AM (#2634993) Homepage Journal


    This will just keep happening.



    Ok, maybe people will always want something for free, but the Internet file-sharing phenomenon is the single best argument for having simultaneous worldwide release of as many products as possible.



    Now, to you North Americans, this isn't such a big issue, and you've probably never given it much thought. But to a native New Zealander and resident Australian like myself, who knows the pain of waiting a year or two to see episodes of Buffy (etc, etc, etc) that you could easily download for free, it is of paramount importance!



    And another thing: a buddy of mine is a technical director on LOTR, and it's supposed to be a simultaneous worldwide release on December 19th. How is it then, that in Austalia, it's being released on December 26th? Was he wrong, or is the Australian Motion Picture League of Bastards screwing us again??

    • by Sloppy (14984) on Friday November 30, 2001 @03:30AM (#2635212) Homepage Journal

      And another thing: a buddy of mine is a technical director on LOTR, and it's supposed to be a simultaneous worldwide release on December 19th. How is it then, that in Austalia, it's being released on December 26th?

      That sucks! By the time you get to see it on the 26th, you'll have been exposed to a week's worth of spoilers from the internet, so you'll already know that Sauron Did It.

    • And another thing: a buddy of mine is a technical director on LOTR, and it's supposed to be a simultaneous worldwide release on December 19th. How is it then, that in Austalia, it's being released on December 26th? Was he wrong, or is the Australian Motion Picture League of Bastards screwing us again??
      Perhaps this is to allow time for translation and dubbing!!!!

      Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.

    • by mpe (36238) on Friday November 30, 2001 @05:54AM (#2635481)
      Ok, maybe people will always want something for free, but the Internet file-sharing phenomenon is the single best argument for having simultaneous worldwide release of as many products as possible.

      What you are effectivly arging for would be a consumer/retailer "globalisation". Which would also do away with the concept of "grey imports", things such as DVD region coding and other ways in which large multinationals attempt to divide up the market (when it suits them.)

      Now, to you North Americans, this isn't such a big issue, and you've probably never given it much thought. But to a native New Zealander and resident Australian like myself, who knows the pain of waiting a year or two to see episodes of Buffy (etc, etc, etc) that you could easily download for free, it is of paramount importance!

      There appear to be two issues here. The first is an apparent requirement for the first showing to be in North America in many cases (more often the US than Canada dispite a lot of programme production taking place in Canada.) The other is that series are shown in an utterly strange sequence in North America. Such that if every series started showing at the same time worldwide it would be people from the US and Canada who would be clammering to download episodes they wouldn't get to see for a while on TV. Or youd have the rest of the world being showr series North American style which viewers in the rest of the world simply will not accept.
      Effectivly we have a case of trying to make new technology emulate the limitations of the old way of doing things. Because the industry does not want to reconsider their business models.
      • >The first is an apparent requirement for the first showing to be in North America in many cases (more often the US than Canada dispite a lot of programme production taking place in Canada.)

        There are NO programs or movies that appear in the US first then Canada, we ALWAYS get everything at the same time. We USED to get movies like a week or two later but that was like 20 years ago.

        -Shieldwolf
      • LOTR, and it's supposed to be a simultaneous worldwide release on December 19th. How is it then, that in Austalia, it's being released on December 26th? Was he wrong

      Release dates. [imdb.com] Starting on Mexico on 7th December, UK on the 10th, the bulk on the 19th, 20th and 21st, then Australia on the 26th and the rest up to the 18th of January 2002, with Japan bringing up the read in March 2002.

      Yes, that still blows chunks, but it's getting better. Much better. I recall SW:E1:TPM was supposed to be a worldwide release, but the US distributors nixed that to protect their markets (theatre, video sales and rentals) from pirate imports. It was futile, as VCD's (hard copies and down DSL and cable lines) of Phantom Menace came in from the far east almost immediately after launch. As this is a much tighter schedule, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, it's an admission that the concept of staggered releases is now pointless, and we're in a truly global market.

  • by Have Blue (616) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:44AM (#2634998) Homepage
    Sorry, chrisd, it is piracy unless you own the originals.
    • From THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY ((C)1911 Released April 15 1993) [devils]:

      PIRACY, n. Commerce without its folly-swaddles, just as God made it.

    • by Accelerated Joe (17680) on Friday November 30, 2001 @02:34AM (#2635095) Homepage
      Sorry, chrisd, it is piracy unless you own the originals.

      In this one specific area, I definitely agree with Richard Stallman. Piracy is a marketing word, with many connotations. I wish the community would use terms more like "unauthorized copying" or "illegal copies". Even plagiarism sounds better than piracy, semantically. The english language can in its current form duplicate many of the worst features of doublespeak.
      • by mlc (16290)
        Even plagiarism sounds better than piracy, semantically.

        Plagarism is totally different than "piracy". Plagarism is when you pass off someone else's work as your own. It is possible, then, to commit plagarism (which is not, AFAIK, illegal, at least in general) on a Free work, if you claim that, e.g., you wrote Emacs. This doesn't take away from the fact that you are entirely within your rights to distribute Emacs. However, it is illegal to distribute copies of MS Word, even if you acknowledge that MS wrote it.

        • the poster was making was that just because something is illegal doesn't mean that it's immoral, on a kin to capturing ships and killing the crew. Hell, according to Lego, using the word "legos" is an infringement of their intellectual "property" -- and they specifically mention how you are allowed to describe their product: '"lego blocks" is legal, "legos" is illegal'. A lot of us think that these IP laws have gone too far, have been rammed down our throats without our consent or representation. And just as the US govt. does when the world court rules against it, we just decide to snub our nose at the media cartels. We're not pirates. We don't bribe our congressmen, we don't sink oil tankers or sail ships to intl. waters before illegally dumping them in the sea, we're not even price fixing monopolies. No need to start slurring our reps over some file sharing.

    • Find them a website which allows them to purchase music and download them instantly online in MP3 or WMA format and I'm sure many will stop the piracy.

      Unfortunately, you won't be able to, the RIAA doesn't want to give us that much convenience.
      • Try this one [emusic.com].

        Unfortunately for your prediction, they sell very few mp3s - the free sample mp3s are the only popular section of their site, and people download the rest from filesharing services.
        • Unfortunately, calling people out on their arguments doesn't really do any good on Slashdot. People don't want easy accessible music; they want free music. They don't want lower prices; they want to get something for nothing.

          If you're going to pirate something, at least admit to yourself that you're ripping off someone, not a victimized consumer standing up his rights.

          Gimme a break.
          • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:31AM (#2635619) Homepage
            • If you're going to pirate something, at least admit to yourself that you're ripping off someone

            And there's the problem. To you, it's utterly clear that this is "ripping off", by which I assume you mean theft, that I am depriving someone of something which they have or to which you think they are absolutely entitled. You believe that I should see it this way, and that I am merely fooling myself, or pretending to fool myself otherwise.

            The problem is, you're wrong on all counts. You're wrong that I'm fooling myself, and you're wrong that it's theft. I'll just assert that latter one, because that's all you did. It's clearly obvious to me that if the copyright owner (a music company, not an artist) failed to persuade me to pay the amount that they demand for access to the work on their terms, then they've already lost the sale, and so there's nothing left for me to deprive them of.

            So you can sit there wagging your finger sternly and saying "This is right, this is wrong, that's the way it's always been, that's the way it always will be" while a new generation of music listeners sniggers quietly behind their hands - or laughs out loud at you - and gets on with doing what people have really always done, which is to redefine both morality and legality by the weight of their actions and opinions.

            • by elflord (9269) on Friday November 30, 2001 @09:15AM (#2635796) Homepage
              And there's the problem. To you, it's utterly clear that this is "ripping off", by which I assume you mean theft, that I am depriving someone of something which they have or to which you think they are absolutely entitled. You believe that I should see it this way, and that I am merely fooling myself, or pretending to fool myself otherwise.

              The real issue here is, how should authors of creative works be compensated ? The advocates of Napster appear to believe that they are entitled to free entertainment, and that no-one is morally obliged to compensate authors whose works they benefit from. Authors, they believe, should work without compensation. However, most of these leeches would fiercely object if their employer decided that they shouldn't be compensated for their labor.

              The problem is, you're wrong on all counts. You're wrong that I'm fooling myself, and you're wrong that it's theft. I'll just assert that latter one, because that's all you did.

              No he didn't. You asserted it on his behalf.

              while a new generation of music listeners sniggers quietly behind their hands - or laughs out loud at you - and gets on with doing what people have really always done, which is to redefine both morality and legality by the weight of their actions and opinions.

              No, they are defining "morality" by retroactively inventing half-assed rationalisations for immoral actions, and they're not the first people to do it.

              • The real issue here is, how should authors of creative works be compensated ?

                No. The real issue is "how should the owners of creative works be compensated?". Music nowadays (at least for the big labels) is "work for hire". The musicians have no ownership rights to the music. Anything that goes to the creators is a matter of contract negotiations, and, I suspect, creative accounting. (The average musician is no more an accountant than the average accountant is a musician.)

                None of the money that you pay for a CD goes directly to the musicians. (Unless, of course, you listen to indie bands, like sensible people.) It goes to the label, who determines how much the band gets.
          • by Greg W. (15623) on Friday November 30, 2001 @11:34AM (#2636509) Homepage

            OK, I'll take the bait.

            People don't want easy accessible music; they want free music.

            Of course we do. Who wouldn't want free stuff?

            But there's more to it than that. A lot more.

            First of all, we want to be able to hear the music in the first place. Have you tried listening to commercial radio lately? For how long? The simple fact is that if we want to hear something that's been mentioned by a friend (either in "real life" or online), we can't get it from the radio. Radio doesn't play anything that anyone would ever recommend to anyone else. It's simply a marketing arm of the record companies trying to increase sales of the Pop-Star-of-The-Month.

            Let's say I tell you how much I loved Tori Amos [thedent.com]'s third album Boys For Pele. Are you going to rush to the store and buy it based on that recommendation? Probably not. You'll at least want to hear it for yourself first.

            So what choices does that give you?

            1. Turn on the local alternative radio station and wait for them to play Tori. Hah! The last time I heard anything I'd describe as "alternative" on the radio was about 5 years ago. There aren't any "alternative" format stations in Cleveland now. There's one station that plays Limp Bizkit rap/metal, but nothing that plays "adult alternative" like Tori or REM. Nothing.
            2. Turn on MTV and wait for them to play Tori. A-HAHAHA! See above. And below.
            3. Turn on M2. What M2? Where is it on my cable channel list? Oh yeah, it's not there. If MTV wanted me to hear music, they'd play some fucking music instead of "reality shows". They wouldn't have moved all the music to a different channel that nobody actually gets. They'd just play music on MTV, and then put all the crap TV on the other station. But that's not what they want to do -- they don't want to play music any more. They want to show crap, because they think crap generates more money for them. Maybe it does -- but it's sure as hell not my money that they're pulling in.
            4. Find samples on CDNOW or some other online vendor. This is sometimes feasible, but your chances of getting a sample of decent length (e.g., a whole song) are pretty low. The samples also tend to be low quality recordings. But the worst problem here is that they tend to be shackled in one or more ways. They may require you to submit an email address so they can spam you. Or they may require you to turn on Javascript and cookies. Or they may disallow access from non-Microsoft web browsers. Or they may release samples only in Microsoft/Real media formats (Real Audio, WMA, etc.). So you can't play them on Linux, even if you can download them in the first place, which is problematic.
            5. You could buy a CD, listen to it a few times, and then return it to the store. Most stores don't let you do this. And even if you did, you're costing the store money for your own convenience. It's basically dishonest, and real people will be hurt by your actions. That makes it wrong.
            6. You could find a copy of the song on an independent promotional site (what you're calling "pirate") and download it and listen to it. The problem here is that you might not find the song, and you might not be able to get it quickly (independent music promoters tend to have low-bandwidth upstream Internet links, like cable modems) or reliably (cable modems, dial-up). The ripping or the encoding (or both) might be flawed, or low-quality.
            7. You could find a friend in meatspace who has the CD, and ask him or her to let you borrow it, or to make a copy for you. This has the obvious drawback that it only works if you happen to know someone who has the CD.

            Which of these have the greatest likelihood of letting you hear the music? Probably the last two. Which have the greatest likelihood of leading to a monetary transaction between you and the artist? Well, none of them, so let me rephrase. Which of them have the greatest chance of getting you to send money to the record company who, in theory, passes money on to the artist? Probably #5: if you buy a CD from the store, all you have to do to "make a purchase" is keep it instead of returning it. But #6 is also good: if you like that Ogg file you downloaded, you might decide to buy a CD.

            You sure as hell aren't going to be enriching the artist or the record company if you follow any of the first 3 models. And #4 is potluck, and your odds have gotten worse over time. #7 will depend on whether you got a cassette copy from your friend, or a burned CD, or whether you just borrowed his CD with the intention of returning it. If you got a burned CD copy, you may just keep that instead of buying your own.

            So by my reckoning, downloading "pirate" music is at least the second-best money-making promotional model there is (or possibly the best) for the type of music that isn't played on commercial radio and MTV.

            And that's at least 99% of all the music in the world.

            If you're going to pirate something, at least admit to yourself that you're ripping off someone, not a victimized consumer standing up his rights.

            If you're going to troll slashdot users, at least admit to yourself that you're a tool of the record companies and their hired public relations psychologists. And that you're helping them rip off 99% of the musicians in the world by systematically destroying all but the 1% who achieve "Star" status and therefore simply die poor instead of flat broke.

            If you'd rather help artists, then donate money directly to them [fairtunes.com], or buy CDs straight from the artists instead of through the record companies (for the artists who are able to do that).

      • the RIAA doesn't want to give us that much convenience

        Sure they do. They just wanna find a way to mark your copy with your permanent signature. Then they'll sell you anything you want.

    • Publishers often refer to prohibited copying as "piracy." In this way, they imply that illegal copying is ethically equivalent to attacking ships on the high seas, kidnaping and murdering the people on them.

      If you don't believe that illegal copying is just like kidnaping and murder, you might prefer not to use the word "piracy" to describe it...

      Quoted from [gnu.org]

  • more info... (Score:4, Informative)

    by thanq (321486) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:45AM (#2635002)

    There is a little bit more information about it on cnet:

    http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-8022666.html? tag=mn_hd [cnet.com]

    although it does not contain too many facts beyond the actual case and the judgement.

  • by Djere (171241) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:45AM (#2635003)
    I seem to recall the music industry railing pretty hard against being held responsible for artists' content. They just distribute content, they're not responsible for filtering it to make sure nothing bad is in there.

    Of course, the difference is that music is protected speech, but from a logical standpoint, it's a pretty ... unusual. Of course, thinking that our laws should have some kind of logic to them is a sure path to madness.

    -djere
    "Where subtlety fails us, we must simply resort to cream pies."
  • Xolox also down (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Xolox was probably my favorite, and now it has this message upon startup:

    Dear XoloX-user,
    Taking into account the latest law suits against p2p clients based on Fasttrack-technology (such as Kazaa), we
    have decided to discontinue XoloX. As of the 1st of december, XoloX will be shut down and removed from
    distribution sites. We hope everybody has enjoyed XoloX as long as it has been around and we want to use this
    opportunity to thank everybody who made a contribution to its development. These last few days will give you
    some time to finish your downloads and we advise you not to start new transfers. If you want to migrate to
    another p2p client we advise you to visit the Zeropaid website (www.zeropaid.com) for orientation.
    Thanks again and goodbye!
    --Team XoloX--
    Comments or suggestions? Please use info@xolox.nl
    • It's not too bad... Xolox was only a Gnutella client, after all. Gnucleus [sourceforge.net] is a much better one (yes, it's for Windows), and it's GPL as well.

      On a wider note, the history of P2P file sharing seems to indicate that centralized systems will always be faster than something like Gnutella, but conversely easier for the big people to shut down. Freenet and Mojonation were two great white hopes a couple of years ago, but they currently seem to be mired in development hell, without a significant new release for a very long time. The only system that's going on stronger than ever is Gnutella.
    • Shuting down the company made no difference on the functionality of the app.

      You can still search/upload/download fine.

      That's the great thing about P2P,

      If it wasn't for fastrack altering their software to make one logon, to block out the open source reversed engineered Fastrack client, GIFT (which btw also does transparent 'supernode' serving on clients with good bandwidth & storage, just like the legit Fastrack apps themselves), then those fastrack apps would be immune from being made dysfunctional by having their corporate creators shutdown
  • by Bitsy Boffin (110334) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:49AM (#2635022) Homepage
    For those who didn't read the artikle, it's a Dutch court who ordered the Dutch company to cease & desist.

    More to the point, Kazaa (the file sharing system) and FastTrack (the network (and libraries for accessing it)) are one and the same, so this should also affect Morpehus and Grokster (not to mention the buggy linux Kazaa client) !

    This is bad bad news. Quick to the Kazaa before it goes away !
    • This is bad bad news. Quick to the Kazaa before it goes away !


      ...and the good news is, that it will take at least two weeks. Also the court has ordered the IFPI (the Dutch RIAA companion) to hold talks with "Consumer Empowerment" (the company that developed FastTrack protocol on which all clients rely) about the formation of a legal music-distribution service.

      So there might be a lot of water flowing down the Rhine before something happens. And then again, it is a Durch court. They are not really known to be a corporate whores. Hell, they smoke pot in that country so you might as well expect a sensible outcome from this...
  • by CaptainCarrot (84625) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:51AM (#2635033)
    From chrisd: I bet anyday that the RIAA will sue cisco for making routers that could be used to infringe.

    The RIAA is very careful to only pick on groups that can't afford better lawyers than they can. I wish they would sue; Cisco might well succeed in creating some sort of binding precedent that would put a stop to all this nonsense. The RIAA will never do that, of course...


    • From chrisd: I bet anyday that the RIAA will sue cisco for making routers that could be used to infringe.


      The RIAA is very careful to only pick on groups that can't afford better lawyers than they can. I wish they would sue; Cisco might well succeed in creating some sort of binding precedent that would put a stop to all this nonsense. The RIAA will never do that, of course...


      What crap! The law makes the distinction all the time between things whose main use is illegal and things that incidentally can be used for breaking the law. Laws against selling burglary tools have not been used to prosecute Ace Hardware.


      All the cases Slashdot has covered--DeCSS, Napster, Sklyarov, KazaA, the one in Korea--are programs designed primarily to enable mass copyright infringement, even though they also have non-infringing uses. Get over this straw man argument that next they'll be coming after Cisco and FTP. It's nonsense.

      • by Sarcasmooo! (267601) on Friday November 30, 2001 @03:38AM (#2635219)
        Explain to me what the difference is. You can use search engines to find copyrighted work to download from FTP's and websites. The only difference I see is that P2P programs are designed to funnel those people who want to share media and information on the internet into one place. Maybe you're just trolling, because it's rediculous to suggest that any of these programs were designed for copyright infringement. None of them come with programs for cracking copy-protections, or links to warez and cracking sites. Many could have that information automatically pop-up on a browser in the program, and they don't. What's nonsense is the way that programs like these, that have very substantial, legit uses, are being shutdown as an excuse for fighting 'pirates'. The end result is just to give the industry control of online sharing of media. Think about it; since you apparently haven't done enough of that. Any P2P program that pops up is going to immediately have users who share the mainstream popular media that the industry claims to be protecting. There are 500,000 people who have the latest Britney Spears album on mp3. No one who ever used Napster or Kazaa needed it to find music and video owned by the RIAA/MPAA. What those popular programs provided, was so much goddamn quantity that you could spend the whole day listening to garage bands and obscure music you heard in a commercial when you were 5 years old. Without these programs, artists who try to use the internet to spread their work become victims of an 'anti-piracy' war, and it's not a coincidence. Because now, P2P programs will stay small and obscure (grow and get sued), and we return to the pre-internet status-quo where you either do business with the RIAA or you don't do business.
        • No one who ever used Napster or Kazaa needed it to find music and video owned by the RIAA/MPAA. What those popular programs provided, was so much goddamn quantity that you could spend the whole day listening to garage bands and obscure music you heard in a commercial when you were 5 years old.

          Note that these are not necessarily non-infringing uses either - many of these "underground" or "garage" bands are virulently anti-piracy and anti-mp3 as well, often arguing that mp3s hurt them even more than they hurt the RIAA, because "Metallica can afford to lose 1000 album sales; we can't."

          And also, if you take a look at search statistics on these networks, the vast majority of people are looking for the latest Britney Spears single, not for garage bands.
        • What's nonsense is the way that programs like these, that have very substantial, legit uses, are being shutdown as an excuse for fighting 'pirates'.

          Some of the "legit uses" are more frightening to the likes of the RIAA than any form of "piracy". But they can't go to a judge and say "we are in fear of becoming obsolete"...
      • by CaptainCarrot (84625) on Friday November 30, 2001 @04:03AM (#2635254)
        You're ignorant.

        DeCSS? Explicitly developed to enable playing DVDs on Open Source computers with DVD drives. It's hardly practical to share full-length movies over networks or even to store them locally on hard drives -- although you should note that the latter use is not infringing. I for one can't think of a single use for DeCSS that's infringing under the traditional doctrine of fair use, given the current practical technological limitations. It may well be in violation of the DMCA, but that's a seriously broken law that undermines rights that consumers of intellectual property have enjoyed for a very long time. The DMCA isn't Norweigian law, anyway.

        Skylarov? His product is entirely legal in the country where he wrote it. In fact, without his company's product it's Adobe's software that's illegal. It's against the law to erect technological barriers to fair use in Russia, but that's what Adobe's so-called encryption does. It's his company that ought to have been held accountable for marketing the product in the US where it was illegal; Skylarov himself as an employee had nothing to do with that. If he's guilty of anything, it's of demonstrating that Adobe's claims about the security of their encryption scheme was a total crock. Embarrassing corporations isn't illegal -- yet.

        Peer-to-peer networks? All of them run on top of the Internet, which, in the event you haven't noticed, is one vast peer-to-peer network designed for freely sharing information. None of the other indexing schemes for available information, such as Gopher or even some web pages, are not fundamentally different from networks like Gnutella.

        • It's hardly practical to share full-length movies over networks or even to store them locally on hard drives -- although you should note that the latter use is not infringing. I for one can't think of a single use for DeCSS that's infringing under the traditional doctrine of fair use, given the current practical technological limitations.

          Apparently you haven't been informed about filesharing within the past year or so. There are entire networks and piracy groups dedicated solely to ripping and sharing movies, and such sharing is one of the major bandwidth uses on university campuses. Sharing of full-length movies is also one of the most popular activities on the FastTrack network (Kazaa/Morpheus). It's not particularly impractical - most people find a DivX-compressed DVD to be "good enough," and typically use bitrates such that the final file size is around the size of a CD-R (~700 MB). And with the size of hard drives these days, it's not impractical to have 15-20 of these sitting around; what's more, most people burn them to CD-R's, and I know quite a few people with CD-R spindles of 100 full-length movies.
        • Oh the lies ..


          DeCSS? Explicitly developed to enable playing DVDs on Open Source computers with DVD drives. It's hardly practical to share full-length movies over networks or even to store them locally on hard drives


          DeCSS was explicitly developed to get access to the contents of DVD in a form that could be reprocessed and shared. Yes, I know this, I'm not guessing.


          ReMPEG2 - re-encoded an mpeg2 stream to a lower bitrate etc suitable for SVCDs. This was before the popularity of DivX ;-) ... I know lots of people who download a 2CD SVCD and view that in their DVD-player with only a slightly lower quality than the DVD-original itself. The people behind DeCSS and some other tools used in the beginning all knew this was the goal ..

            • DeCSS was explicitly developed to get access to the contents of DVD in a form that could be reprocessed and shared. Yes, I know this, I'm not guessing.

            And yet strangely you don't feel any need to provide a single reference to back that up.

            We're listening. But you can't change our minds just by making an assertion and then slinking back to the shadows.

      • It's nonsense.

        Hah! Nonsense is the papier-mache broad-bladed sword of the ignorant! Fear its power and quick judgement based on inaccurate information!

        When weilded correctly the Nonsense Sword can bog your enemies down in such useless follies as proving your mindless drivel wrong! It slices through factoids like butter through a knife!
        • The law makes the distinction all the time between things whose main use is illegal and things that incidentally can be used for breaking the law.

        Are you aware of the Sony Decision? That the Supremes decided that the "main use" of VCR's is illegal, but that even the possibility of non-infringing uses meant that the VCR itself could not be banned.

        This was a clear precedent which is now being ignored by ignorant revisionist judges who are apparently being swayed by the completely extra-legal argument of "corporate/national interest". We have judges now who are not just misinterpreting the law, but are blatantly adding whole new clauses to it in an attempt to outdo each other in seeing the Big Picture and bring themselves to the attention of their masters in Congress (50% of whom are members of the American Bar Association, and who decide on promotion to the Supreme Court, so separation of powers my huge hairy ass).

        Please go and do some basic research before you shoot your mouth off here.

    • Interesting observation. Why wait for the RIAA to sue a deep-pockets company like Cisco? I like the idea of suing the RIAA better. How about a class-action suit by musicians and music buyers against the RIAA companies for usury and monopolistic business practices? I would join the class on that one.
  • "...revealed when a Recording Industry Ass. of America internal memo..."

    Thats 'ass' in print folks....its Official!
  • Yawn. (Score:4, Informative)

    by drix (4602) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:52AM (#2635035) Homepage
    Now seems like an opportune time to remind everybody that the FastTrack protocol was reverse-engineered some months ago by these guys [sourceforge.net] (definitely a highly impressive RE feat, IMHO). gIFT is a fully functional, open source FastTrack implementation which happily coexisted with Kazaa and Morpheus until FastTrack decided to break it by further obfuscating their protocol. Which is a shame, because in doing so they make the FastTrack protocol reliant on centrally run servers to obtain a cryptographic key... this is all covered in detail on the gIFT website. Long story short, Kazaa can go down in flames for all I care, even though I use it almost every day. gIFT is in the public domain and here to stay. It's not ever going to be taken away from us. It works like a charm. It's decentralized. And it's just waiting to load up on content so it can gain that critical mass of users needed for widespread acceptance. Kind of a chicken or the egg problem, I suppose. So my advice to everyone is to start running gIFT and develop OpenFT network. This sounds like bluster but it's true for the time being: gIFT is the be-all-end-all of P2P filesharing.
    • What's superior about gIFT to Gnutella? I thought the protocol itself was not superior - the only reason it was used more was because of Kazaa being a large network. And if the large centralized portion of Kazaa shuts down, it loses the advantage, and becomes just another non-centralized network, like Gnutella.
    • From what I have seen, eDonkey2000 is a much better P2P that allows anyone to setup a central server... not only that, but a central server uses very little bandwidth. You can serve 100 clients on a MODEM for pete's sake. There is very little minute-to-minute traffic when using eDonkey2000, unlike Gnutella based clients.

      eDonkey is quite stable. All it needs to really succeed is shorter connection timeouts and some automatic retry functionality... in particular, you have to manually expand a search, and it takes some time.

      Vote eDonkey for P2P president!
    • I disagree with you that gIFT is is a viable alternative to Kazaa because it hasn't implemented the super node aspect of Kazaa. Basically, it's only useful for connecting to existing FastTrack networks, not forcreating entirely new independent networks.

      However, I have no doubt that either gIFT or another open source alternative file sharing network will duplicate or surpass the functionality Kazaa currently provides. This will be especially true if FastTrack is shut down. Just look at download.com's Macintosh section [cnet.com]. Because Kazaa has not been ported to the Macintosh, two versions of the open source gnutella clone are ranked one and two.

      Clearly, there is a huge appetite for file sharing software that will no doubt be met by talented open source programmer perhaps even operating anonymously. While it may seem like this would provide cover from RIAA and other organization lawsuits, I believe it won't. gnutella, gIFT and all other file sharing tools rely on centralized servers for at least the distribution of their software. The RIAA could easily threaten suits against Limeware, sourceforge.net, and any other entity hosting file sharing tools or even linking to them. The latest deCSS court decisions banning [cnet.com] linking prove this to be the case.
  • They were when they started (Morpheous and Kazaa both use the FastTrack network). But they moved to a system where you must log on to a central server before you can join the network. Take a look at the giFT project for more info (they were an open source client before the network closed).

    giFT Project [slashdot.org]

    They are also working on a new version of the network they call OpenFT.

  • Not decentralized... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StormySky (528079) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:54AM (#2635044) Homepage
    I don't think any of the MusicCity protocol clients are decentralized. Or are our peers serving up those ADs? There was file sharing prior to Napster and friends --- anyone remember the days of searching Audiogalaxy for ftp sites, or, IRC? The problem with all the current crop of 'solutions' out there are that they're huge targets (Morpheus/Kazaa), don't work very well (gnutella), are good ideas but fail to work even a quarter of the time (Freenet) or are absolute utter crap (Mojonation). Any system designed specifically for file sharing will *have* to be a target to the idiots who don't comprehend that the genie's out of the bag. Notice that they're not tackling file trading on IRC, or, heck, even usenet as hard? I wonder what's going to happen when there's a nice convenient client that does chat (100% legit use), IMs (100% legit use) AND allows one to search for files of any type, without advertising and central servers? Certainly something I'd love to code if I could figure out, and something that would be near impossible to 'take down'. (Yes, the devil is in the details, but it is feasible, if you think about it.) Surely at some point there will be a p2p client not operated by any company (read: target), and even the RIAA and friends would eventually have to admit the futility of shutting down millions of nodes... especially when you can't identify easily which people are just chatting and which are actually trading files.
    • by Smthng (71777)
      >>nice convenient client that does chat (100% legit use), IMs (100% legit use) AND allows one to search for files of any type, without advertising and central servers

      Interesting that you should mention this specific list, because every single one of these functions can be coded into an irc client/script !!

      For best results this client would have to rely on irc servers have a built in file server and have a carefully designed gui as well as hopefully running on many platforms.

      Maybe it's time to reinvent mIRC and X-chat using a common tooolkit (qt?) and dumbed down simplified gui. Is there any reason why this wouldn't work ?
      • It's already been done - take a look at Direct Connect at www.neo-modus.com . Sure, it's only for Windows, but it's basically a fancy irc client that connects to a fancy irc server.
      • IRC is very problematic, though. First off, there are many different IRC networks, which adds to hassle for the casual user in knowing which to connect to (though, it is nice to spice things up a bit for those trying to destroy it...) and a requirement to create the same kind of Napster (--) OpenNapster proxies that came about shortly before its demise. Next, we again have very large centralized servers. I was going to toss up a DAL server on a T1 about a year ago, and, after reading the peering process, canned the idea. Further, IRC is a horribly inefficient protocol, and we've not even gotten into exploit issues, netsplits, and all the other joys we know and love. :) File *transfer* works just fine in DCC, but for the functionality of stuff like Morpheus, it wouldn't make sense just to tack it on.

        What a couple of us (anonymous geeky types trying to read what's left of the First Admendment through the brown stains (ref: Brian Dalton, Ohio)) have been tossing around is a p2p system that would be totally encrypted, and provide a one stop place for all your networking needs. ::smirks widely:: Right, AOL. ::shudders:: But, seriously. A good majority of people online are soccer moms who don't know why they should use encryption, don't think they're doing anything wrong (and thus have nothing to hide), and can barely navigate. (IE is "the web"). A nice gui (multi-platform, of course, and done in qt or wxwindows) that does the encryption behind the scenes for their chatting and instant messaging would be a *huge* hit. I just removed Earthlink from a neighbours system. Their software is HIDEOUS! She put it on there because she wanted things "all in one place". (As an aside, I called Earthlink's tech support while I was there, and asked why the smtp server address they gave her wasn't working. After I was told that smtp stood for "send mail to people", I rather quickly hung up. Turned out that they'd bought out the ISP she was using, but that she needed to use the old isps hostnames, as earthlink hadn't gotten around to providing customers from her area with access. She lives 5 miles away but it's long distance for me to call her. Rah!)

        Where was I? Oh, right. Soccer moms. Anyway, the key to any p2p system surviving is *normal* users. Despite the numbers, all existing file share systems seem to be people with lots of time on their hands, or very technically inclined. The people who log in for a couple hours to chat with grandma, or little neice Susie, or check the latest news bulletins AREN'T using them. And if they're not using them, when the systems are shut down, you aren't getting the mainstream mass media outcry. This again goes to legitimacy. It can't be tacked on to IRC, because IRC already has enough kludges added and needs to be respectfully laid to rest. You *cannot* have a "content publishing system" that's true p2p and have it *be useable* without the industry clowns attacking it. (Look at Freenet, and tell me how long it takes you to find a key of something interesting, much less to download it. The fact that I'm actually going to have to buy the O'Reilly book on p2p should say something. Wait, I buy all the O'Reilly books. But if I didn't... :-) ) I think the best solution is to build (sigh, yet ANOTHER) protocol (open) based on the best aspects of the open protocols that exist, and make a single client/server multiplatform application that everyone can use, and the government can tear its hair out over because it's not as easy as harrassing an ISP to read what everyone's saying.

        This isn't as grandiose as you might think, and people far smarter than me have even done some parts of it. No one, though, has put it all together. I won't keep rambling on details, but, check out Mojonation: For the file sharing end, it addresses a lot of issues that haven't been before (mojo/leech consequences, ratings, etc). However, it's an utter piece of shit --- requires a web browser (expects IE? Yech!), is abysmally slow to publish, and, in my experience, impossible to download on. And, again, just file sharing.

        This is probably longer than it needed to be, but, as you might have guessed, something I'm really interested in. I have no idea how it would be possible to have a p2p without central servers (elitist hubs in IRC talk) and yet provide reliable delivery. Even a quasi-p2p network with NO commercial entities involved, and as much anonymity thrown in as possible would be better than what's going on now.

        Again, reiterating my first post, if a million people are all chatting encrypted, and there's no way to see who's doing what, there's just no way to shut it down. Maybe I'm still naive, but I don't think we're past the point where we can grasp unto what freedoms we have left and hold on tight...

        • Thank you. That was the most intelligent thing I've read on this thread. Some thoughts:
          1. By default, it should find and share all mp3's, vcd's, etc on the disk. Napster took off because it shared the downloads by default. It's reasonable to take this a step further, now that there's such a high chance that the user previously ran a different sharing program.
          2. The program should take the user by the hand, like an installation wizard. On first starting, it should ask the user to pick two favorite genres of music. Then it should show the most popular downloads within those genres. If the user doesn't choose anything, and the connection is not being used heavily, the program should randomly pick and start downloading one of the most popular files in the genre. And this should be made visibly obvious to the user in a way that invites intervention.
          3. We need a Tivo-like associative rating, where you can give things a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, causing other files to appear in the suggestion list (and possibly get downloaded automatically). This would be backed by a cryptographic network of trust, so the originators of the network would anonymously endorse users who have good associative judgement, who would in turn endorse more users.
          4. We need an abuse-resistant mechanism to propogate relevant news items, complete with hyperlinks, within the program. So if congressman Greedo introduces legislation against p2p, an appropriate hyperlink to this story will pop up on each user's program. This will help polarize the "soccer moms" against the cartels.
          5. We need a system that progressively restricts the IP addresses permitted to connect as the number of nodes grows. This makes it difficult to 'sweep' a network from one IP address and identify all the nodes. In other words, the number of nodes available to me should grow as the square root of the number of nodes in the network.
          And now some problems:
          1. People generally don't code Windows for fun.
          2. At some point, the ability to search for material means you can identify an IP address that is offering copyrighted material for download. Thus, the user can be targeted and punished - adequate enforcement on this front could dry up the network. Encryption doesn't help here, because the information must be accessible to the client.
          3. Corporations will release modified versions of the program with banner ads and privacy invasion, and these will be the norm due the corporations superior marketing reach.
          4. RIAA/MPAA could finally do the intelligent thing (don't know why they haven't) and create thousands of bogus clients flooding the network with junk.
  • by E1ven (50485) <[e1ven] [at] [e1ven.com]> on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:54AM (#2635046) Homepage
    The hard part about this is that the FT stack was designed to be distributed, like Gnutella.
    There is not central server, like there was with Napster.

    It's all peer->peer->Superpeer, where the SuperClient helps to route things, solving the scaling problems of Gnutella.

    So there isn't a Server to shut down.
    A least, there never USED to be.

    When GiFT came out, Kazaa and Morpheus switched to authorizing people through a centralized sever, before accessing the peer->peer network.

    Coincidentally, shortly after they implemented this filter, they were sued.

    Let's look who's been sued over this.
    Napster, Imesh, Kazaa post-auth server
    Who hasn't been sued
    Bearshare, Limewire, Kazaa pre-auth server, GiFT, Freenet, WinMX

    It seems that the RIAA knows that they don't have a chance of shutting down a network that doesn't use a central server, so they aren't trying.

    You may also have a stronger legal case that way. In the napster hearings, one of the key points was that napsters servers let it happen. Napster had control.

    I think that what we're learning from this is if you never touch the packets yourself, just release the client and hope for the best, you're in much safer waters.

    Colin
    • Yes, in the Napster case "control" of the network was a critical issue. Specifically, though, it's a two-tiered test in order to have "vicarious liability" like the courts found Napster did... e.g., who is liable for what in terms of a P2P network's content. Remember, you need two things: the ability to supervise, and the making of profit.


      Vicarious liability arises when the defendant "has the right and ability to supervise the infringing activity and also has a direct financial interest in such activities." Napster, 239 F.3d at 1022.


      Also, there's still the good competitive analysis of kazaa, etc. from the RIAA (where we also find the codification of liability):


      http://www.dotcomscoop.com/riaamemo.html [dotcomscoop.com]

    • part of the problem is also that kazaa et al run supernodes and provide dynamic server lists, which is part of the "facilitation" aspect of the claim.

      The RIAA knows they don't have as strong a case as they did against napster, but they still have a case.

      My favorite part is that kazaa is partially encrypted, so any attempts by the RIAA to reverse engineer it are illegal under the DMCA

      -gleam
    • by nabucco (24057) on Friday November 30, 2001 @05:52AM (#2635478)
      Yes - Fasttrack (Kazaa/Morpheus) has centralized servers which require authentication, which means it's easy to shut down, like Napster was. Gnutella (Bearshare, Limewire) has no such centralization/authentication, which makes it near impossible to shut down. It's protocol is published, so anyone can write an open source or commerical application to access Gnutella. Gnutella server/clients (servents) are popular - Bearshare and Limewire are the 10th and 11th most popular downloads on Download.com, and both have been on the top 50 list for longer than Kazaa or Morpheus. Gnutella developers have been working together and seperately to solve problems such as automatically getting high-speed hosts into the center of the network, preventing too much freeloading, allowing multi-sourced downloading and so forth. They have already had success in all of these areas. The protocol is published, and there are many excellent Gnutella server/clients that are open sourced (Limewire, Gnucleus, gnut etc.)

      I find publishing networks like Freenet and Mojo Nation interesting as well. They are not as functional as Gnutella or FastTrack networks currently, but they are very interesting. Freenet gets a lot of press, but in my opinion Mojo Nation is much more functional currently, and has had more development put into it. If you are interested in P2P networks, you should download Mojo Nation to see how much crazy stuff they have already put into it. Mojo Nation is the most functional publishing network I've seen thus far, and it's quite interesting. It's more for techies interested in the possibilities of P2P however, for functionality, stick with Gnutella.
  • WinMX (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkZero (516460) on Friday November 30, 2001 @01:54AM (#2635048)
    For anyone that's unfortunately bound to Windows and is looking for a new file sharing service to jump to, I'd recommend WinMX [winmx.com]. It's a great P2P program that has always had whatever I'm looking for (and what I look for is pretty damn obscure, i.e. Asian pop and such), yet has still remained firmly under the radars of the RIAA and MPAA. Of course, at the rate the RIAA is going, every currently existing P2P program will be gone eventually (though they will be replaced with new ones in the mean time), but I estimate that you'll get at least six or ten months of use, and possibly much more, out of this one.

    And by the way, for those that are modding this... I do not work for WinMX in any capacity, nor do I have any financial or personal stake in it. I'm just trying to help the people that looked at this article and thought, "Well, damn. What's left for me to go to now that doesn't suck?".

  • My university apparently decided to block access to FastTrak clients. A quick tip for others afflicted with the same problem, find a program called Proxy Hunter and scan other .edu's for unsecured proxies. That's how I get on now. I know that makes me an asshole but a) I want my MP3s, dammit and b) it's partly the fault of whoever is silly enough to leave an open proxy server sitting on their network.
  • I bet anyday that the RIAA will sue cisco for making routers that could be used to infringe.

    In other news, the RIAA has filed lawsuits against Intel, AMD, and Motorola, alleging that processors produced by the aforementioned companies are being used to decode illegal pirated music.
  • by fault0 (514452) on Friday November 30, 2001 @02:35AM (#2635102) Homepage Journal
    Last I heard, not only were the giFT [giftproject.net] folks made an open sourced version of fasttrack (used by both kazaa and morpheus), but also, they were developing openFT, which is compeletely independent of kazaa, so if it were to go down, then we could still use it. there'd be no way to block it either, and it works much better (as in more reliably) than gnutella.

    note that a few days after kazaa blocked giFT, they were sued by the RIAA. this was because they switched to a partially centralized network from a network that had previously only used central servers for authentication (which giFT had never used).
    • The problem being, of course, that this action will shut down 99% of the users of the FastTrack network, which will make it virtually useless. If all you're looking for is an open network, there are already dozens; Gnutella, the various OpenNap clones, etc. FastTrack's advantage was that it had critical mass, which will no longer be the case if all the Windows Kazaa/Morpheus users are cut off.
  • by Sarcasmooo! (267601) on Friday November 30, 2001 @03:13AM (#2635196)
    I don't like the copyright cartel anymore than most people here; in fact I probably hate them a lot more than most people do. But I also hate having spyware installed on my system without my knowledge. Like Kazaa does with Cydoor. So to all the guys at Kazaa, you can't see it, but at this very instant I'm giving you the big middle finger.
  • ....revealed when a Recording Industry Ass. of America internal memo was leaked to Web site Dotcom Scoop. Not long after the leaked memo was published, the RIAA and the Motion Picture Ass. of America sued KaZaA ...


    The RIAA and MPAA sure are asses!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The translation of the actual result seems to have lost some detail.

    Basically - KaZaA is ordered itself to stop infringing on arfists their right withing two weeks. It is not said that they are actually doing so - but if they are - they better not do it two weeks from now.

    But at the same time - the dutch version of the RIAA (well not quite comparable - the legal framing is way different) is ordered to sit down with KaZaA withing two days to reach agreement as to how to legally offer music.

    So the sword cuts two ways. While it is by no means clear yet -if- kazaa actually has stepped on the artist rights in any way.

    Also note that Buma/Stemra is quite in a different leage that the RIAA, has a lot more legal shackles and govt. oversight - and typically chargers very reasonable fees - for end users in the fractions of dollars per song. And is very cognant of fair use. The netherlands is rift with things like public libraries which rent out popular music.

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Friday November 30, 2001 @03:48AM (#2635230) Journal

    "I had no idea Kazaa was this popular (must be all those a's in their name)."

    Proof That A's Don't Determine Popularity

    Kazaa = 3 A's.

    RIAA + MPAA = 4 A's.

    Still, Kazaa is more popular than RIAA and MPAA together.

    This post is XHTML 1.0 compliant!

  • FT used to work w/o central servers - and presumably, the OLDER clients would work just fine, even without their parent companies.

    SO WHO HAS OLD VERSIONS OF THE SOFTWARE?
  • Decentralizing etc.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheCrunch (179188)
    KaZaa, Morpheus & Grokster are clients for the (decentralized) FastTrack network. So unless the RIAA go after FastTrack, good ol' Morph & Grok should be OK. Possibly. I read a while back that in their attempts to stop giFt, K, M & G made all user authentication go through a central server. Hence the "possibly".

    One thing I never did figure out was why K, M & G all look the same (bar different icons). What's up with that?? As far as I'm concerned, the RIAA can kill as many clients as they like. There will always be more (and better) P2P apps cropping up. Kinda like natural selection.

    Anyhoo, here are some old Slashdot posts on the subject:

    RIAA Looks To Stop KaZaA, Morpheus & Grokster [slashdot.org]
    File Sharing: Decentralizing, Open-Source Fasttrack [slashdot.org]

    -TheCrunch
    .sig .freud

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... org minus author> on Friday November 30, 2001 @04:16AM (#2635271)
    I had no idea Kazaa was this popular

    It's good to see Slashdot editors keep up with technology. FWIW, the FastTrack network (through the Kazaa and Morpheus clients) has consistently been the single largest bandwidth user amongst colleges and universities for the past few months.
  • webwereld.nl (Score:5, Informative)

    by leuk_he (194174) on Friday November 30, 2001 @04:27AM (#2635296) Homepage Journal
    The register points to this article on webwereld.nl [webwereld.nl]. Since i am not aware of any automated translaters:

    Rechter: KaZaA over twee weken dicht
    judge:Kaza must close in 2 weeks

    This is the remarkable outcome of a "kort geding" (court where outcome is in a short time) between kazaA and music right organisation "Buma/Stemra". If kazaa does not comply they must pay 100.00 guildens (~45.000 euro) a day with a max of 2 Million guildens. This outcome can end the Kazaa, that is one of the biggest music exchane services since the departure of napster.

    The judge also dertermined that BUMA/stemra must meet with Kazaa to negotiate a contract where Kaaza can legaly offer misc via the internet. Accoridng to kazaa there was already a oral agreement with the buma/stemra the they canceled the engotioations.

    Loyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm sees the judgement as a vicotry , in spite of the closing threat. "it is fantastic that they have to negotioate with us again. That means we still have enough time to make an agreement."
    ...

    about the passage in the verdict about the "auteursrecht" [copy right? ] he is less to speak. "in the verdict is that kazaa breachtes the copyright. This is nonsense. The users are responsible for this. With the same argument one could close the suppliers of video recorders"

    . . . appeal. . .

    according to Alberdingk Thijm the verdict only has consequense for the software. This means that the network where also morpheur and grokster make use of stay 'open'. Poeple who already have installed kazaa soule be able to continue with using the network.

    .
    .
    .
    Buma/stemra did not react. "we do that when we studied the verdict"

    [sorry for speliing errors and parts left out]
    • A more complete and better(?) translation of the webwereld.nl article [webwereld.nl].

      Judge: KaZaA must close in two weeks

      Thursday, 29 November 2001 - KaZaA must stop making copyright infringements of music artists in two weeks with, a judge decided today.

      That's the remarkable outcome of summary proceedings between KaZaA and Buma/Stemra [Dutch RIAA]. If KaZaA ignores the decision they are forced to pay 100,000 Dutch guilders per day, with a maximum of 2 million guilders [1 NLG = about 0.40 USD]. The verdict can mean the end of KaZaA, the largest peer to peer network after Napster.

      The judge also decided Buma/Stemra must negotiate with KaZaA within two days about a treaty that will allow KaZaA to legally 'distribute' music. According to KaZaA there already was an oral agreement with Buma/Stemra when Buma/Stemra canceled negotiations at the last moment.

      Victory

      KaZaA's lawyer, Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm sees the verdict as a victory, despite the threat of KaZaA being forced to close. "It's of course really nice that Buma/Stemra has to negotiate with us again. That means we still have enough time to make an agreement.

      Whether Buma/Stemra and KaZaA will be able to make an agreement within two weeks, Alberdingk Thijm can't say. "I find it difficult to estimate"

      But Alberdingk Thijm isn't happy about the passage in the verdict about copyright infringement. "The passage says that KaZaA itself makes copyright infrigments. That's of course nonsense. The users of KaZaA are responsible for that. You could also close down companies that make VCR's with that argument."

      Appeal

      "You can only have a point when you say KaZaA gives users the possibility to break copyrights, the same argument used against Napster. I have the feeling the judge bungled that part of the verdict", says Alberdingk Thijm.

      Thus KaZaA is thinking to appeal against that part of the verdict. "But before we make a decision we'll have to study the verdict again, calmly."

      According to Alberdingk Thijm the verdict only has consequences for KaZaA's software. That means the network the company uses [FastTrack], which is also used by Morpheus (MusicCity) and Grokster, will stay 'open'.

      People who already installed KaZaA on their computer, would still be able to use the network. KaZaA doesn't use central servers [they do! but it's still 'optional'] as Napster did, so stopping the service is difficult.

      Buma/Stemra doesn't want to comment the verdict yet. "We will do that after wes tudied the verdict thoroughly", as George Knops of Buma/Stemra says.

      Copyright (c) 2001 - WebWereld / Maarten Reijnders

      Translation by Eelco Lempsink

  • It's no big deal ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by uebernewby (149493) on Friday November 30, 2001 @04:38AM (#2635317) Homepage
    ... really.

    The RIAA (well, in this case their Dutch counterparts BUMA/STEMRA, actually) are fighting a losing battle, as they probably know very well. At least, they should know this from looking at recent events surrounding napster.

    First, there's a thing called GNUtella. Doesn't work very well, but it works, but, well, it doesn't work very well. Then, for a while (how long did Napster actually last? A few months or so?) something comes along that does the same as GNUtella, but it's much easier to use. So everyone switches over, because, well, freedom and decentralization are nice ideas and all, but ease of use is nice too. For a few months, everyone uses the ultra friendly Napster thing 'till the RIAA takes note and sues Napster. Exit Napster. Tons of internet (l)users have, however, by now learnt of the joys of P2P filesharing, so they go to GNUtella, which may suck, but it's still better than nothing.

    Along comes FastTrack (KaZaa/Morpheus/Grokster). It's really easy to use, so everyone and their mom installs it. For a few months, users are happy. Then the RIAA takes note, orders FastTrack shutdown ... you can finish the rest.

    This will keep happening until the RIAA finally gives up. Since that's rather unlikely, the cycle "sucky Gnutella -> nice GUI app -> nice GUI app shut down -> sucky Gnutella" will continue forever.
  • Here at the University of Illinois, which 2 years ago banned napster, they have decided to throttle the ports that files transfer on (1214). You can search for files, but trying to download from anyone will result in connections slower than 1 KB/s. Does anyone else have any experience with ISPs or universities doing this?

    I think they went to the throttling method to make people say "Oh, it's just slow today." This keeps them from looking from alternatives-when napster got blocked, everyone just switched to gnutella. Colin Winters

    • The University of Massachusetts in Amherst has done the same thing. The Office of Intormation Technology here has throttled the ports that are used by Napster, iMesh, FastTrack, and the default port for Gnutella. So we can still use the services, but off-campus downloads are restricted to about 1.5 kbytes/sec.
  • ARRRRRRRR (Score:3, Funny)

    by Asicath (522428) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:16AM (#2635597) Homepage
    I didnt even know ye olde Kazaa werrrre arrround. arrrrrrrh. - A music Pirate
  • by KilBee (414914)
    It seems that the RIAA based their cases against MP3.com and Napster on the proof that illegal file swapping was indeed occuring.

    But since the network protocol behind FastTrack is encrypted, how are they going to prove that anything illegal is actually happening without breaking the DMCA?

    At most, they have evidence, but no proof.

    IANAL. Obviously it can't be that simple, so please enlighten me.

  • by Jagasian (129329) on Friday November 30, 2001 @12:50PM (#2636994)
    ...support GNUtella instead. Noone can shut down that network, short of shutting down millions of users.
  • use IRC =) (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZaBu911 (520503) <zackster@gmCOLAail.com minus caffeine> on Friday November 30, 2001 @04:45PM (#2638298) Homepage
    IRC networks are something that, I assure, won't be shut down any time soon at all. looking for music? pr0n? TV episodes? turn to the warez networks, like EFNet (irc.prison.net, irc.arcti.ca to name a few) and DALnet (astro.ga.us.dal.net, sniper.tx.us.dal.net). Works well.

    Good alternative :-D

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk

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