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Music Media

KaZaa Ignores Court Order to Shut Down 365

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-that-takes-balls dept.
An anonymous reader submitted that "The Amsterdam district court ruled two weeks ago that the KaZaa P2P program is acting unlawfully by making software available that allows users to download music files and must shut down. The court gave the company 14 days to do this or face $40,000 US a day in fines. KaZaa has chosen to ignore the shutdown order."
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KaZaa Ignores Court Order to Shut Down

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  • by monkeyfamily (161555) on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:47AM (#2737469) Homepage
    Even if the corp shut down, we'd all still be able to use the clients, right?
    • NO... (Score:4, Informative)

      by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:16AM (#2737604) Journal
      No, the client has to connect to a central server to login to the network..
      • Re:NO... (Score:2, Informative)

        by zeno_2 (518291)
        No, the client doesn't actually. They could take their servers down, and we could still trade files. I think the servers that they have up only give you the news on the front page when you start the program up. The actual searching of files uses supernodes (if you have broadband, kazaa, morpheus, etc will enable your machine as a supernode, pretty much indexes what people have shared, and my computer will be one of the machines that does the search when someone searches for something).
    • by Hal-9001 (43188) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:20AM (#2737625) Homepage Journal
      How is the parent comment redundant? This is the fundamental argument as to why networks like Napster and KaZaA should not be shut down: that corporations are not (or at least, should not) be accountable for the illegal behavior of users on a copyright-neutral network (at least before the SSSCA: IANAL and honestly have no idea what current copyright law has been bought^H^H^H^H^H^Hpushed through by RIAA/MPAA). Furthermore, neither the posted or linked stories discuss the fact that KaZaA is just one client on the Fasttrack network so, unlike Napster, KaZaA has no control over whether or not the network is available to clients. That begs the question: how are you going to enforce, either as a company or as a government, the behavior of 27 million people? (especially after Judge Patel's ridiculous 100% compliance stipulation)

      Furthermore, why isn't the court going after Microsoft since Internet Explorer is the underlying layer of both KaZaA and Morpheus? Microsoft has about as much control as KaZaA over the Fasttrack network, and is even more culpable because their software is behind both of the major Fasttrack clients. If they want to pursue a ridiculous interpretation of the law, they might as well apply it consistently and not just to convenient targets.
  • by mikeage (119105) <.ten.egaekim. .ta. .todhsals.> on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:48AM (#2737474) Homepage
    did they also ignore the court order to remove the spyware? What? There was no such order... well.. there damn well should've been... I want to use KaZaa!

    Yes, this is a joke, I know they need to make money somehow.
    • About spyware (Score:3, Informative)

      by CptnHarlock (136449)
      As you and others have said KaZaA does include spyware. In older versions it was optionable, but in the latest so called "security fix" it's mandatory.

      However. There are alternatives and one of the less known ones is Grokster [grokster.com]. This is also an official client to the fasttrack network and it does also include spyware but you can disable it. Actually it's disabled by default! I've been using it and when I've checked with AdAware it's green. So go get it!

      Meanwhile. What happened to giFT/OpenFT [giftproject.org]?? I'm still waiting.. :)

      • Re:About spyware (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hal-9001 (43188)
        Grokster's spyware is not disable by default. I just installed it today to see what it was, and I had to uncheck a checkbox so that Gator (known spyware) would not install.
  • Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ConsumedByTV (243497) on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:52AM (#2737495) Homepage
    I say ignore all unjust laws.
    • "I say ignore all unjust laws."

      And get your ass thrown into jail? There are plenty of unjust laws in almost every civilized country. If you ignore them, however, the penalty is stiff.

      I guess you could ignore the imprisonment as well, and get shot trying to escape.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ethereal (13958) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:09AM (#2737570) Journal
        I say ignore all unjust laws.

        And get your ass thrown into jail?

        Yes, that's exactly how it's supposed to work - just ask any civil rights marchers from the Deep South, for instance. Once the government realizes that they can't throw everyone in jail, the laws get changed. Or sometimes you get a new government.

        Really, you're taking a gamble that enough other people will join your civil disobedience that the government can't ignore you.

        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dangermouse (2242) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:16AM (#2737598) Homepage
          Sometimes, that's a gamble that just doesn't make sense. Nobody's going to stage a download-in, publically load up their laptops with pirated music, and then go to jail en masse.

          For one thing, most people wouldn't consider it worthwhile. This isn't about basic human rights, it's about consumer rights, and that's a whole different-- and less urgent-- ballgame.

          • Really, you're taking a gamble that enough other people will join your civil disobedience that the government can't ignore you.

          That's one hell of a gamble in this case. The governments of the world cannot throw all the users of Kazaa in jail because they are anonymous. They can, however, jail those who made Kazaa, and use them to set examples of other programmers who would make P2P technologies.

          Unfortunately, most of the public would not march for them. Most people are truly apathetic.

          When I find a law is unjust, I contribute in a way I can: go to non-violent protests, write letters, sign campaigns, give cash to the EFF, NRA, Libertarian party, or whoever I think has the best chance to help fight it. I would not be willing to break the law unless it was a major force of tyrranny that threatened the lives of the people in my nation.
        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by foobar104 (206452) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:58AM (#2737825) Journal
          I say ignore all unjust laws.

          It is never appropriate to ignore a law. You can obey it, or you can lobby against it, or you can openly defy it, but you must never ignore it.

          The strength of our society (by which I mean the modern judicial society in general, wherever in the world it is found) is based on the authority of the law. We consent to be bound by the authority of law, and in return we live in a prosperous, ordered society. If a law is unjust, you must fight-- within the system when possible-- to overturn it.

          But ignoring a law, even an unjust law, trivializes The Law as a whole, which erodes the core pillar of our society.

          Disagree or even disobey, but always respect and honor.
      • by PD (9577)
        Henry David Thoreau was put into jail for not paying his taxes. Thoreau was big on the idea of civil disobedience as a way to address injustice in society. His friend Ralph Waldo Emerson visited him in jail and asked him "Henry, what are you doing in jail?"

        Henry replied, "What are you doing OUT of jail?"

        (Of course, if you live in a $27 house, even if it's on lakefront property, having the government take everything you own isn't a big deal.)
    • Do you really need to ignore all of them? It seems silly to go to jail over, say, an "unjust" parking fine.
    • A local town just passed a local law about distracting drivers while driving. They went beyond cell phones and includes, drinking coffee, talking to passengers, smoking and changing the radio stations. These laws take the lowest common denominator and encompasses it into a law. And the American attitude is to comply with these laws.

      America the land of criminals. Until proven innocent.
  • by Godeke (32895) on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:52AM (#2737496)
    Sounds like they made a bad choice in having the technology to shut down the prior versions of the software... they could have been the first test of truely "uncontrolled" software vs a court order.

    Personally, I hope Freenet or one if it's same minded ilk (redundent caching with encrypted content) builds the technology to scale out as large as these kinds of systems have.
    • Freenet (Score:2, Informative)

      by arodland (127775)
      I just took a look at a recent freenet .4 snapshot this morning, and between the software actually working and the web of freesites that's growing, it looks like it's approaching usability.

      That was always my gripe with freenet, that it's been too damn hard to use... Keep up the improvements, guys, for everyone's sake.
    • Sounds like they made a bad choice in having the technology to shut down the prior versions of the software... they could have been the first test of truely "uncontrolled" software vs a court order.

      You really don't want them to do that test in a court. If a court finds that people are producing things that are invulnerable to court orders, you can bet that within days legislation will be passed preventing any such software from being produced again. Mandatory government-accessible backdoors might well become a legal requirement, and writing or using software without them might become a criminal offence with ludicrous penalties. Remember, governments are quite capable of passing such draconian legislation: RIP in the UK, DMCA in the US, etc.

      The thing is, you couldn't really blame the government for introducing such measures, at least not with any justification, because those who object would have brought it upon themselves. With freedom comes responsibility. If you abuse freedoms -- and the likes of Napster, Kazaa and co have allowed people to abuse freedom on a massive scale -- then you're going to be held responsible, and those freedoms are going to be compromised.

      • If a court finds that people are producing things that are invulnerable to court orders, you can bet that within days legislation will be passed preventing any such software from being produced again.

        No way, that's impossible! The government would never pass laws that are unpopular, uneccessary, and unenforcable. I mean, except for the war on drugs. Oh, wait...
    • Check out LimeWire.org. The next version of the software (2.0) will have an implementation of the concept of super peers - similar to what the FastTrack network does - but with no central servers at all.
  • Umm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dagoalieman (198402) <thegoalieman AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:53AM (#2737501) Homepage
    It seems to me this isn't the brightest of moves. They're trying to use it as negotiating power, yet ticking off a judge is a really bad idea- keep in mind the judge (at least in the US) gets the final approval on any deal that's worked out during a case.

    Also, what do they think this will gain them? While I don't like the DMCAA et al, I think we can all agree there are flat out illegal pirates out there amongst the legal users. Because of this, they're an accomplist to theft/copyright infringement/whatever you want to call it. Plus whatever other legal teeth those provide for sinking into the owners of KaZaa.

    Sigh. If the music industry would just quit fighting, start providing MP3 format cds with a couple of extra songs/what have you, I bet they'd find that their piracy issues would go down more than they expect. I won't even try to argue financial benefit, since it's no one really seems to know (RIAA: OH, we lost MONEY! Stores: NO, you sold more! People: Hey, we're getting f*cked!)
    • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dangermouse (2242) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:11AM (#2737580) Homepage
      So, the relevance of this post to yours is hanging by a thread, but this is more or less on the subject of the RIAA fighting a good thing because they're idiots.

      Yesterday morning, as I was sitting in traffic on 680 wishing I'd attached an outboard motor to my car, I got to hear an interview with Huey Lewis on a local radio talk show.

      The interviewer asked Huey what he thought of the whole "downloading thing", and his answer was that it was "complicated", but that his son downloads stuff all the time (that's hearsay, you Feds, you leave Huey's kid alone!) and when he finds something he likes he buys the album. So Huey didn't really have a problem with it.

      When the interviewer mentioned that he himself downloads a fair bit of music, but doesn't buy many CDs, Huey pointed out that people their age just never bought (or sold) much music anyway, relatively speaking... it's far and away a kids' market.

      • Re:Umm... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TeraCo (410407)
        The interviewer asked Huey what he thought of the whole "downloading thing", and his answer was that it was "complicated", but that his son downloads stuff all the time (that's hearsay, you Feds, you leave Huey's kid alone!) and when he finds something he likes he buys the album. So Huey didn't really have a problem with it.

        That's a nice argument, but even though a small percentage of downloaders actually do this, they are definately in the minority. You can't really base a decision like this on what some people do, rather how it going to be used most of the time.

        When the interviewer mentioned that he himself downloads a fair bit of music, but doesn't buy many CDs, Huey pointed out that people their age just never bought (or sold) much music anyway, relatively speaking... it's far and away a kids' market.

        Applying this to software or research and development for any organisation: Does this make it ok for warez kiddies to steal software just because they weren't going to buy it? Does it make it ok for small companies to steal technical secrets from big companies, because they weren't going to research them anyway? [Hint: The answer is no.]

        • Re:Umm... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dangermouse (2242)
          That's a nice argument, but even though a small percentage of downloaders actually do this, they are definately in the minority. You can't really base a decision like this on what some people do, rather how it going to be used most of the time.

          Are they? That's not been my experience. A poll would be interesting. (Not a Slashdot poll, that would obviously be skewed to hell and back.)

          Applying this to software or research and development for any organisation: Does this make it ok for warez kiddies to steal software just because they weren't going to buy it? Does it make it ok for small companies to steal technical secrets from big companies, because they weren't going to research them anyway? [Hint: The answer is no.]

          Thanks for the hint. The condescension was both well-placed and well-executed. Wait, no it wasn't. You just missed the point.

          I didn't cite Huey's kid by way of justification. The point, as I said in my first sentence, was that the RIAA is fighting an uphill battle against what really seems to be in its own best interest. Obviously they have the right to attempt to fight this thing, but it's really pretty stupid in light of the fact that downloadable music only seems to fuel record sales.

          Have I bought every album containing a song I downloaded and liked? No, of course not. But I've bought more music overall because of my ability to first find and listen to it for free. There were interesting reports published in the last couple of years that showed record sales increasing relatively steadily, with a bump upward a little while after Napster became popular. You can treat that as rumor, since I don't have a link to said reports handy, but I think they did show up on Slashdot.

          • Re:Umm... (Score:2, Insightful)

            by haystor (102186)
            Have I bought every album containing a song I downloaded and liked? No, of course not. But I've bought more music overall because of my ability to first find and listen to it for free.

            I think this is perhaps what the RIAA is fighting most of all. It is very important that you not be able to purchase your music accurately or else they will lose potential sales of most of their library.

            I think what they fear the most is that people won't buy an album for one song any longer. I know I used to buy albums because I liked one song I heard on the radio and thought that band would be good if it sounded anything like that. I was definitely wrong.

            There are definitely albums worth buying, but I'll no longer spend $18 on one song.

        • Does this make it ok for warez kiddies to steal software just because they weren't going to buy it?

          No, but you also can't count them when calculating how much money piracy "costs" the industry.
    • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by jilles (20976) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:19AM (#2737620) Homepage
      There have been a few recent major screw ups at the dutch OM (the dutch district attorney). Consequently, they'll be reluctant to take on a high profile case that has a good chance of blowing up in their face. Legally speaking, Kazaa is not doing anything wrong (at least, that would be hard to prove). The fact that the most useful application of their software is trading warez, divx and mp3 is irrelevant since they do not actually engage in the transactions themselves (unlike napster).

      Basically what Kazaa said is that they have no way to comply with what the dutch judge told them to do (namely to put an end to the illegal exchange of the above mentioned stuff using Kazaa). It is simply not feasible since the transactions are fully peer to peer. The searches nor the downloads go through a central server.

      In any case, Limewire 2.0 is available now and has some new features that should enhance scalability of the gnutella network greatly. Gnutella is open source and has no dependencies on a login server (unlike Kazaa) eliminating the last link to a central server. If Kazaa is going to lose their case it will be because of the logins.
    • Re:Umm... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sacrilicious (316896)
      While I don't like the DMCAA et al, I think we can all agree there are flat out illegal pirates out there amongst the legal users. Because of this, they're an accomplist to theft/copyright infringement/whatever you want to call it.

      Any extent to which they can be deemed "accomplices" is only in the same way that VCR manufacturers are accomplices to whatever illegal uses are made of their products. The critical fact is that there are significant non-infringing uses of the technology, and that is what got VCRs past the supreme court in the betamax case.

    • Re:Umm... (Score:2, Funny)

      by _UnderTow_ (86073)
      I think we can all agree there are flat out illegal pirates out there amongst the legal users.

      I think what you meant to say was this:

      I think we can all agree there are legal users out there amongst the flat out illegal pirates.
  • by Squeezer (132342) <awilliamNO@SPAMmdah.state.ms.us> on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:54AM (#2737508) Homepage
    This sort of reminds me when I believe it was Andrew Jackson was president and the Supreme Court made a ruling he didn't like, and he said something to the effect of "The Court has made their ruling, now let them enforce it". Because the Supreme Court only has judicial powers, all they can do is decide the outcome of the case, but they have no enforcement powers, and at the time, Andrew Jackson had the power and popularity to enforce his ideas instead of those of the court.

    That sort of reminds me of what Kazaa is doing, to the effect of "The Dutch court made their decision, now lets see them try to enforce shutting us down."
  • it's not about KaZaA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prophecyvi (249996) on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:55AM (#2737509) Homepage
    There may be more to this than just the usual recording-industry-heavy-handedness. After all, KaZaA (or however it's capitalized) isn't nearly as big as Napster was - Napster was the one choice, most mp3-swapping was centralized around it. Now with WinMX, AudioGalaxy etc., not to mention the OpenNap servers, the fragmentation means no one service will dominate. That makes the pursuit of KaZaA suspicious to me. It seems the technology behind KaZaA, which also runs MusicCity, Morpheus etc. is what's under attack.

    Bear in mind that Napster has targeted March as their return date, complete with pay-as-you-go music and under the boot of RIAA et al. Why would you go pay on Napster if you could jump on other networks and get it for free?
  • by jspey (183976) on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:56AM (#2737515)
    The reason they aren't shutting down isn't just because they want to be rebels or something. While KaZaa does state that there's nothing they can do now that their software's out there and being used, they say they're not shutting down in order to comply with a different court order. In a different case with Buma/Stemra (the Dutch licensing body that's also suing them to shut down), KaZaa won an injunction forcing Buma/Stemra to continue to negotiate with them about a streaming-on-demand service. KaZaa says that if their current sevice isn't up and running, they can't negotiate well with Buma/Stemra.

    I'm personally of the same opinion as the author of the article. I think that as soon as they get shut down, they go to a much weaker position to negotiate from. Why negotiate with KaZaa to make money fromthe music they're distributing when they aren't distributing music anymore?

    Mr. Spey
    • But the article notes that KaZaa has demonstrated in the past that they have the ability to disable thier own software remotely. Ooops.

      tcd004
      • But the article notes that KaZaa has demonstrated in the past that they have the ability to disable thier own software remotely. Ooops.

        This is why I think they're trying out a different argument. They can always fall back to, "we can't do it", but the other court case gives them a different option.

        Mr. Spey
  • by SumDeusExMachina (318037) on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:56AM (#2737516) Homepage
    As you can tell by reading the article [mp3newswire.net], and as you certainly wouldn't be led to believe by reading CmdrTaco's summary, they are refusing to shut down in order to comply with a previous court order. This is more a case of conflicting orders in the judicial system than anything else.
    • No, they ARE ignoring the court order, it's just that their lawyer has had to make up a reason for them to be doing it, so he made this up. They are looking for any excuse they can to stay open and this is just an excuse.
  • by Xzzy (111297) <sether @ t r u 7 h . o rg> on Friday December 21, 2001 @10:57AM (#2737520) Homepage
    They're not really ignoring the order, as presented in the news post.

    More like they're trying to squirm out of the deal by either claiming they can't shut it down (being de-centralized and all that), or that doing so would violate previous court orders. They're not ignoring by any means, they're attempting to squirm.

    Redundant, probably, but it's posted with the intent of staving off some of the "woohoo stick it to the man!" posts.
    • it's posted with the intent of staving off some of the "woohoo stick it to the man!" posts.
      Woohoo!!! Stick it to the man!!

      Whatever else you may think about why they're doing this, it still takes balls to ignore a court order. Imagine a cop walking up to you and telling you to get out of the car. You refuse on grounds that it's a free country and you aren't doing anything wrong. That takes balls. A little stupidity too, unless you're a really good lawyer, really rich, or both.

      So yeah, stick it to the man. Don't you just love it when the underdog takes on the Man. Remember back, long ago, around 1995 or so, when Netscape could do no wrong? Man, those were some cool times. FTPing Mosaic. Then switching to Netscape. Laughing at IE 2.0. Those were the days.

      What were we talking about? Can I get another hit?

  • bah (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Quasar1999 (520073)
    Crap, pure crap! We have people in the US who openly admit to breaking the DMCA rules on national TV (Patrick Norton on TechTV), and nothing happens, yet they try and make an example of a foreign based company that is simply running a p2p network server, it's not their fault everyone uses it to pirate... Hell, I'm amazed they don't try and shutdown ISPs and the entire Internet, afterall the p2p networks use the net don't they? sheesh...
    • by Levine (22596)
      What's interesting about The Screen Savers is that almost on a daily basis, the entire cast of the show admits to/talks about breaking the DMCA. How the producers allow this to happen is beyond me, and how the government hasn't picked up on it yet is even further beyond me.

      You'd think they would tone it down or something, considering that they are /national television/, but no:

      "Why, Patrick, doesn't that violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?"

      "Yes, Leo, but I won't tell anyone if you won't!"

      Cheers,
      levine
  • the judge has ordered BUMA/STEMRA (dutch equivalent to RIAA) to resume the talks that were broken off because of the RIAA lawsuit. Looks like they'll get a licence for streaming only at the moment, but while talks are ongoing, Kazaa does not have to close.

    //rdj
  • With its back to the wall, KaZaa looks like it may evolve into a streaming music service.
    Does this sound totally and incredibly NOT what KaZaa is now? I mean, now, you can share just about any kind of file you want, and I don't see where streaming comes into play at all. What the hell kind of business plan is this?

    "We developed this great piece of P2P software, but now that we're being sued, fuck that and lets stream some music!"

    Of course, I haven't been to sleep in a good while, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
  • by leuk_he (194174)
    from This dutch article [zdnet.nl] In conclude the bumra-stemra and kazaa are still talking. This based there there is no effectuation of the fines
  • by darkov (261309) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:11AM (#2737587)
    I think the important point to remember here is that the record companies are not playing fair. They do not want to licence their products for sale on the internet. Although it may not be illegal, or rather someone has not caught them out according to the law yet, they are basically trying to control the market.

    It's up to us to put pressure on them to licence their music. A good way to do that is to swap MP3s. You might call it theft, but many of these companies are not exactly saints and in any David vs Goliath battles, dirty tricks are to go. in there arrogance, record companies forget that they only exist becuase of us, the consumers. By acting together we remind them of that fact.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:14AM (#2737593) Homepage Journal
    KaZaa isn't really what it claims to be. They're superficially like Napster or Freenet, but that's just pretense. Or if it's not pretense, then the people running it are unbelievably stupid.

    A system like this only works if all the users keep their P2P agents running 24/7, so that others can access their shared files. But when the agent is running, you get a stream of annoying popups. So people only run they agent when there's something to download. So they boast a huge database of stuff that's mostly unavailable.

    • If you read the Kazaa bug reports forum even semi-regularly, it will become clear that this guy doesn't give a flip how bad his software or service are, so long as he makes money at it. So regardless of the ethical or legal issues, his current position doesn't surprise me.

    • A system like this only works if all the users keep their P2P agents running 24/7, so that others can access their shared files.

      I don't get it -- why does Kazaa only work if *my* shared files are available 24/7? So what if you can't access my files; millions of others will be available.

      they boast a huge database of stuff that's mostly unavailable.

      Not in my experience. Almost everything I try to download is available.

      And for the record, I download, almost exculsively, unreleased live recordings. P2P services put bootleggers out of business.

      Napster and Kazaa are cultural treasures. I couldn't, in a lifetime, find the gems I can find on a p2p service in a few hours.
    • But when the agent is running, you get a stream of annoying popups. So people only run they agent when there's something to download.
      It's really a trivial thing to disable the popups in KaZaA. All of the popups are routed through a single domain (twistedhumor.com, IIRC, which is the same domain used by several other P2P clients for their popups), so it's very easy to lock out that domain, for example, by adding it to your "Restricted Sites" in Internet Explorer and disabling everything (ActiveX, Java, Javascript, etc.).
  • What next? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by icemind (191210)
    "The Amsterdam district court ruled two weeks ago that the KaZaa P2P program is acting unlawfully by making software available that allows users to download music files and must shut down."


    So next up are they going to order Washington University to shut down for making wu-ftpd available? That's software that lets people download music files too.

    - icemind

  • What? Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pyrosz (469177) <amurray@nosPAM.stage11.ca> on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:20AM (#2737628) Homepage
    Why is some software targeted when other software is not? Take for example KaZaa, they make a program that allows you to share information and files. Is this not the same as having a web server and a browser? Or something like ICQ or any messanger service that lets you send/recv files? Wouldn't using an Internet browser to download the KaZaa software be illegal if the KaZaa software is deamed illegal? Therefore all Internet browsers are the cause of all piracy on the internet? So many questions, so much bs.
    • From all of my research on this subject the reason why RIAA is determined to go after P2P networks is that it makes downloading of copyrighted material "too easy".

      In other words, any dolt with a computer can figure out how to download via KaZaa,Napster, etc... but if they were required to not only find a server and connect via FTP that it would be deemed too difficult for the masses and is therefore not a threat.

      The same goes for IRC, etc... Transferring files via most applications is too intellectually challenging and what KaZaa and Napster are being nailed for is being innovative enough to make file transfer via the Internet "easy".

      Of course, my personal take on it is also that these companies have little cash with which to fight back. Microsoft's peer to peer has been available for many years and is just easy to use - but it doesn't offer automated searching of hosts. You need to actually understand how to find a host and connect. Same with browsers.
      The companies behind these technologies have lots of cache and lawyers. Napster and KaZaa don't.

      This is the real issue the RIAA has with P2P and their current implementation. It's too easy.
  • by TeleoMan (529859) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:25AM (#2737647)
    Alright, I'm tired of hearing the same old arguement over and over again, so here's the reasons I use Kazaa now instead of buying CDs (I own several hundred CDs btw).

    First, I'm into trance, a form of eletronic music, that I can't seem to buy ANYWHERE, not even online. Sure I can find some albums every once and awhile, but most of the time the stores have never heard of what I'm looking for, can't get it, or it will take weeks to get, etc...

    Second, in the electronic music spectrum, there's alot of stuff I don't like. I used to try buying CDs, then find out they were junk. Waste of money. Sure, I'd buy CDs of artists I liked that I could actually get ahold of, but I'm listening to alot of bootlegs and things from Europe that can't be purchased, at least in the USA...

    Third, I'm poor. Now more than ever, it's difficult being a college student. I couldn't buy albums at all (maybe a couple a year) if I even wanted to. I'm sure alot of other people feel the same way. Most of the people who are pirating on Kazaa (including me) I bet would not buy the album of the person they were pirating anyway, either because they don't like it that much, it's just something novelty they wanted, or they're too poor to go out and actually buy it. You can argue then that the person should not have that recording, but the artist still is not losing money anyways and perhaps smaller ones gain from sharing their music to people who would have never heard it otherwise.

    Fourth, everywhere I look, record sales are booming. They're having no problems pushing CDs, even though they're generally $3 - $5 more than 5 - 10 years ago when I was in my teen popular artist CD buying phase.

    The only thing I can find in my local record stores are asshole employees, limited selection (plenty of the MTV crap), and high prices. I could buy online, but it's more of the same except the salesperson is taken out and replaced by phony reviews.

    I'm glad Kazaa exists, it has opened me up to music I would not have found otherwise and allows me to get my hands on things I wouldn't be able to get my hands on.
    • Yes, I stole that man's shoes, but here's the reasons that I did so: (I own several other pairs of shoes, by the way)

      First, I really love Nike Air Jordan shoes. Not the new ones, I'm talking the original red and black ones. But you can't buy those ANYWHERE these days. Not even on the internet.

      Second, I have tried a lot of different shoes. A lot of the shoes I've tried fall apart soon after I buy them. So maybe I was just borrowing his shoes to see how long they would last before they wore out.

      Third, I'm poor. I don't think I could afford more than a couple pairs of PAYLESS shoes a year. Can you believe my hardship! I'm probably the only poor college student in the world. Like I said, I have other pairs of shoes, but I wanted THOSE AIR JORDAN shoes that the other guy was wearing. I don't think I would actually go out and buy Air Jordan shoes though, even if they were for sale.

      Fourth, everywhere I look, shoe sales are booming. And shoes cost even more now that when I was a teenager. Even more than when I could actually buy the original air jordan. Shoe companies sell PLENTY of shoes, probably even more because the guy I stole them from probably had to go buy another pair!

      The only thing I can find in my local shoe stores are idiot employees, limited selection (plenty of Sketchers crap), and high prices. I could buy online, but it's more of the same except the salesperson is taken out and replaced by crappy customer service.

      I'm glad this guy was there. I was able to get the shoes I wanted that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to find.

      Seriously though, I know that shoes and digital music are not the same. Not at all. However, all of the reasons above are justifications for behavior that TeleoMan himself admits is wrong. (Unless he has a different interpretation of the word "pirating.") Every lawbreaker has their reasons, their justifications, but that doesn't make the action legal or moral.

      For now, sharing digital music in certain ways has been ruled illegal. It might not always be. I hope it won't always be. But none of the reasons listed above would keep you out of trouble would the .mp3 police come knocking on your door. (I don't even want to go there! Imagine... .mp3 police!)

  • by bluenirve (470125) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:28AM (#2737662)
    KaZaa "We can not shut down because our product because people cannect to each other, not a server."
    Reporter "You have shut down earlier clients..."
    KaZaa "But in the newest client, it is impossible to do so..."
    Reporter "If it is run by clients connecting to clients, why do you need to be around."
    KaZaa "Because the software won't work otherwise."
    Reporter "For some reason, this seems like what Microsoft would do..."
  • Fair Use of Kazaa (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TeleoMan (529859)
    OK, for once and for all: The fair use law says that I can make copies of a Metallica CD I buy for my own personal use. An example being I copy onto a tape because I only have a tape player in my car. This is legal. Along the same lines, do you think it's wrong for me to download that same Metallica CD that I have purchased, using Kazaa to my MP3 player so I can take it to class? It's true that if I were technically savy, I could convert all of the CD myself to MP3's, but logically is this not a legal use of Kazaa, so that 100,000 people don't have to waste time and effort doing this conversion when it's already been done?

    - I like pudding.
    • First of all, it's a "clause" in the Copyright Law, not a law in itself. The DMCA removed much of the rights you have to fair use, which is why academics don't like the DMCA either.
  • by Webmoth (75878) on Friday December 21, 2001 @11:30AM (#2737675) Homepage
    Hmm. They are suing KaZaa because they make software that allows file sharing over the internet.

    Are RIAA/MPAA et al going to sue Microsoft, too? After all, Microsoft makes software that allows file sharing [slashdot.org] over the internet with no content control.

    Shoot, even WITHOUT all the unintended security holes, it's pretty easy to set up a web server with all your mp3's and get a search engine to list them all.
  • Why don't the record companies just sue everyone in a kind of reverse class action suit? If thousands of smokers can sue 1 company, Why can't 1 company sue thousands of copyright infrengers? That way everone can owe the record labels millions in damages. Then everyone can go bankrupt together. Afther that the CEO's of the record lables can jump ship enron style before the music industry goes out of buisness for lack of demand as all the consumers are without money.
  • First of all, for all of you asking "why Kazaa?", in case its not obvious yes, Kazaa is Dutch, not American. So logically it would be a court in the Netherlands that has to go after it. Napster, as most know, is as American as long stick bombing and apple pie. So it was pursued in an American court.

    What is interesting in all of this is the international ramifications. What's to stop a file-swapping service from setting up in a small, easily-influenced island nation with lax laws on such things? Antigua and Barbuda [antiguafreezone.com], in the Caribbean, comes to mind (mostly because im in it at the moment) - low/non-existant taxes, a dedicated free trade zone, a FAT pipe back to the US and Europe, (the much-loved Casino-On-Net is here, for example), and a judicial system that is, well, not particularly likely to push through complex technology-based cases anytime soon. With enough other "legitimate" US-linked technology companies here (such as the casinos), any threat to simply unplug the island would be met with serious lobbying and financial pressure... And thus such companies as Kazaa would be in a more solid position to "sell out" - as is the logical outcome for these services: get big, get threatened, then sell out to a record company (Napster, MP3.com, et al).

    As an interesting note, Antigua is building a call center that will house 800+ employees, with the express purpose of delivering outgoing telemarketing to the US and Canada. It's billed here as a wonderful project to provide "high tech" employment (really), with no thought given to how telemarketing is seen by Americans/Canadians. It will be very interesting to see how US telemarketing laws are applied to incoming international calls.

    Are these file sharing services just going to hopscotch around the globe, then?
  • Water Under Bridge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wintermancer (134128) on Friday December 21, 2001 @12:35PM (#2737979)
    I've often said that the RIAA/MPAA/LMNOP are working up a great sweat playing the P2P Whack-A-Mole game. Someone, somewhere, should explain to them what NP means in mathematical terms ;-)

    I'll go off on a slight tangent, but bear with me. When you need water, you just go to the tap and turn it on (at least in North America, that is). You get what you what when you need it.

    What you don't hear is the Water, Gas and Power company screaming about how their rights are being destroyed by people being able to bottle the water and give it freely to a friend or neighbour. (Or derivative uses thereof, such as cooking, flushing, etcetera).

    Why? It's commoditized. It's too damn cheap to bother with repackaging or giving it away. It's there. You get charged by the aggregate volume that you use in a month. You want to give a hectaliter to Joe Farmer down the street? Go right ahead, we'll bill you for your use. But why bother? Joe Farmer can get it for himself.

    This is what the music industries need to realize. The cat is out of the bag, the genie is out of the lamp and Elvis has left the building. The days of charging $20/cd are gone for good.

    This does not have to be a bad thing.

    Commoditize the damn thing so that it's too damn cheap to bother with trading music (other than, "Listen to this cool track I downloaded"). Give people high bit-rate, guaranteed quality, do-what-you-want-with it music for pennies on the song, and you'll make more money than you can dream of. And judging by these guys expense accounts, that's a lot of dinero.

    Otherwise, die like the dinosaurs did.
    • by james_pb (156313)
      When you want water in North America (at least the bits I've lived in), you go through years and years of vicious political and legal battles (and in the not-to-distant past, you used live ammunition) to get that water. Maybe there are parts of the world where that's not true, but I've never lived in a place where water rights and use weren't some of the absolute hottest, most contentious issues around. And you certainly can't transfer meaningful quantities of the stuff without even more battles, since different users are charged different rates and have different access rights. Just because something is a commodity doesn't mean it's conflict-free.
  • If a court orders Maytag refrigerators illegal, (Anthrax storage enablers) does that give Maytag the right to go into your house and smash them? Or to punch the self-destruct button they have hidden in their office? Is software a good that is bought, or a service that can be discontinued?
  • by toadnine (525325)

    *Sigh*

    The mp3newswire.net story is complete bollocks... they probably thought: 'hey, more than two weeks pasts, KaZaA hasn't shut down, they're probably ignoring the verdict...'. The quotes in the article are even based on things said weeks ago!

    What's the _real_ story?

    Is was already posted a week ago on a Dutch site [emerce.nl]

    The most (and only) interesting part of the article: (translated)

    A spokesman from KaZaA's main office in Sweden explains they don't need to [shut down] yet. "Since we're negociating with Buma/Stemra right now, we are not forced to shut down"

    Tsssk... if only more people could read Dutch :-p

  • The FastTrack network (Kazaa, Morpheus and Grokster) is an authoritarian network. With version 1.3.3, network control was centralized by requiring authentication by company servers - all power in the network was concentrated in the hands of a few. Thus, since it is an authoritarian system, a more powerful authoritarian system, US entertainment corporations, can make the MPAA make the Dutch courts shut down the FastTrack network.

    The Gnutella network on the other hand, is a more anarchic network. All power on the network is distributed equally among the users of the network. Thus, although it has been around longer than FastTrack, there is no central authority the MPAA can force to submit, so it is not as easy for the MPAA to shut it down as Napster and FastTrack are.

    Beyond Gnutella there are publishing networks like Freenet and Mojonation. These networks would be even more difficult for some authority to attack than Gnutella. Publishing is free, and content is split up and distributed. Add to this encryption and reverse proxying, and it becomes difficult for people to know what data they store, and where data they request comes from. This type of network is even more resistant to authority's attempts to shut it down. The design of publishing networks is more complex and less utilitarian than that of Gnutella however. Thus design and usage of publishing networks is not up to the level of that of the Gnutella network yet.

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