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Secret Kazaa Documents Revealed in Court

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

The Internet 273

Dan Warne writes "A fascinating range of Kazaa's internal documents were revealed in Federal Court in the ongoing court case against the Australian-based company today. One extraordinary philosophical manifesto by the company's chief technical officer showed that he was aware that Kazaa's activities were a huge legal risk. He also feared being 'out-innovated' by other P2P programs that didn't come bundled with adware. "if consumers can connect to FT (as well as Gnutella 2, eDonkey and Bittorrent) and it has no ads or adware then it would seem a good choice," Philip Morle says in the his manifesto. The documents are full of all sorts of other admissions-that-you'd-be-crazy-to-put-on-paper like how Kazaa employees "hate" installing the Kazaa Media Desktop on their machines because all the bundled adware slows your machine down and can hijack your web browser."

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273 comments

from the horses mouth (1, Redundant)

Lacrymator (842893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549650)

well that says it all...

Re:from the horses mouth (-1, Offtopic)

bozer82 (855683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549823)

Just another kick in the teeth, oh well.

Re:from the horses mouth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549907)

mod this guy down

he's just posting to get his little sale noticed, as he has done in other articles now

Who in their right mind would buy hardware listen in the neowin forums? It's called ebay, go take a look!

Re:from the horses mouth (0, Offtopic)

bozer82 (855683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549966)

Actually if you have noticed, i've been commenting on the NASA story, but its ok, some people have their website links in their sig, I have a sale, big deal, go troll somewhere else buddy.

Shock News Just In... (5, Funny)

tabkey12 (851759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549652)

Kazaa contains Spyware! Lock up your daughterboards!!!

Re:Shock News Just In... (5, Insightful)

Bigthecat (678093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549850)

It's one thing for it to have spyware; it's something else for one of the company's head honcho to admit it.

Re:Shock News Just In... (0, Offtopic)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549908)

Yeah, seems like he had a brain after all.

Re:Shock News Just In... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549957)

Yeah, seems like he had a brain after all.

Now if we could just find Dorthy, the Lion and the Tinman...

Re:Shock News Just In... (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550078)

Hrm, you expect him to go : "No, we don't have spyware in our software! Huh, what ? Ohwait, you mean the software that is secretly installed on your 'puter and is sending out personal information ? Oh, we call that 'customer care software' "

Of course he would admit there is spyware ; since it's so obvious.

Currently... (5, Interesting)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549656)

If you go to Kazaa [kazaa.com] right now, however, you'll note that they say that there's no spyware bundled with the software. Thanks, but no thanks...I'm sticking with bittorrent and Winmx.

Sure there ain't no spyware... (1)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549672)

But there sure are boatful of "bloat"-ware galores!!!

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (5, Informative)

tabkey12 (851759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549687)

Note that their Skype website says: No Spyware, Adware or Malware [skype.com]
Kazaa says: No Spyware [kazaa.com]

Spot the difference, people!

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (1)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549744)

Either way, installing Kazaa is akin to those AOL commercials with people begging for a virus. With Kazaa, you're begging for adware.

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549785)

Omission of "bloat"-ware is the key!!!

End-user Unites!

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (2, Informative)

nilenico (688350) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549803)

But Skype isn't Kazaa! Skype are the folks who invented the basics (or whatever) of Kazaa, before it was sold out by a "friend" to the current bloatware Kazaa company... (See earlier thread about Skype.) And yes, this is probably Off-Topic.

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (2, Informative)

elleomea (749084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549805)

" Note that their Skype website says: No Spyware, Adware or Malware"

Except it's not their Skype website. The creators of Kazaa and Skype sold Kazaa off to the current owners quite a while ago.

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (2, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549838)

If they want me to believe their product contains no malware, spyware or adware, there is exactly one way they can convince me. And that's the same way that RMS [gnu.org] , Linus [kernel.org] and ESR [catb.org] convinced me that their software is clean.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549917)

... or, they're trying to sell software.

Re:Sure there ain't no spyware... (1)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550066)

The link at the top of http://www.skype.com/ [skype.com] seems to indicate otherwise...

Re:Currently... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549696)

There's no contradiction there. He admits that Kazaa contains adware, which obviously wasn't a secret anyway (I mean, how can you make it secret?). As to spyware, he doesn't say anything about it.

Re:Currently... (5, Insightful)

Ninjy (828167) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549706)

Always be careful, thanks to the language ambigiouty, even the simplest statements can be turned around to form the opposite instead.

Even in saying "Kazaa does not come with spyware bundled", followed by "Kazaa and the bundled software do not collect personal information" still leaves quite a large hole for them to just walk straight through. What if one of the bundled applications reroutes your HTTP traffic through third-party servers? All the application does is re-route your traffic, it doesn't collect any information at all. The information collecting may just as well happen elsewhere.

Again, always remain on the look-out for these things, however minor they may seem.

Re:Currently... (5, Informative)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549717)

Because they have "adware", not "spyware". A ridiculous distinction that allows many companies to morally justify their inclusion of such horrible pieces of code in their products.

Just peek at Messenger Plus v3 (an add on for MSN Messenger) -- they include LOP in their installer, which hijacks your browser, your searches, adds a toolbar, and adds icons to your desktop, and is one of the most annoyingly difficult things to clean on your own. The Plus 'company' justifies it in that it's "adware", not "spyware", and that the user opted in when installing by not un-checking the default install option. What comes next is a hellish exercise of peering into the most obscure parts of the registry to kill the re-spawners that make the spyware^H^H^H^Hadware come back on reboot when things look clean. /end rant

Re:Currently... (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550022)

I've run into that, and uninstalling Messenger Plus v3 was simple and quite effective at removing it. Screw its "features."

Re:Currently... (2, Informative)

Spl0it (541008) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550036)

Actually you have to click yes or no. They do not 'assume' yes or no for you. So your comment implying that you have to uncheck something is completely untrue.

Re:Currently... (1)

had3l (814482) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549757)

From Kazaa's site:

"Sharman's No Spyware Commitment

* Kazaa does NOT install or delete software from your computer without your permission."

Yeah, right.

Re:Currently... (5, Informative)

Durzel (137902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549814)

Straight from the installer's mouth.. What you agree to install...

Step 1 of 4

Kazaa file sharing application with: Bullguard Virus Protection, Altnet Topsearch.

Kazaa is a free download supported by advertising from Cydoor, the GAIN Network and InstaFinder.

Altnet PeerPoints Manager Package, an application that rewards you for sharing on Kazaa including My Search Toolbar and P2P Networking Application.

Sharman Networks respects your privacy. Read the privacy policy. You must also agree to the user license agreements linked from below before continuing.

[ ] I agree to the Kazaa Media Desktop End User License Agreement and Altnet PeerPoints Manager Package End User License Agreements.

Seems it's just as polluted with spyware as it has always been.

Re:Currently... (1)

Celt (125318) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549993)

Thats true, there is NO spyware bundled with kazaa
BUT the so called "free" version DOES include adware
http://www.kazaa.com/us/products/downloadK MD.htm

Sneaky tbh...

Practice what you preach (3, Funny)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549661)

With regard to forcing their spiteful employees using their own products, KaZaa ain't no preacher for the general populace.

Re:Practice what you preach (0)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549741)

You must be new here. I mean, in this planet

Re:Practice what you preach (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549795)

Yes, I am. But my slashdot id beats yours by log10(2).

Re:Practice what you preach (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549918)

Michael Sims had a low id as well.

And now he's gone!

Re:Practice what you preach (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549786)

45.5 Baud? that' about 5 bytes per second. Wow, I didn't think the internet was ever that slow. I can write faster than that.

Re:Practice what you preach (1)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549808)

45.5 is used by Naval Baudot Teletype. Just think of those old jolly green giant teletype that sat banging out papers noisely.

It is also used predominately today by blind and deaf telephone users.

Re:Practice what you preach (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549849)

Why would blind people need a different telephone???

WHAAA? ARE YA BLIND? (0)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549896)

WHAT? Are you blind?

I said "blind and deaf." And yet, you must have read it as "blind or deaf."

They are in essence, still deaf, and in need of assistance with telephone communication efforts.

I truly hope you don't work in the programming field for a mission critical systems, particularly of critical logic decision making (gosh, we lost so many space missions, ships, airplane, and cars to this kind of simple mistakes).

(sigh) Dang Slashdot newbies.

Re:WHAAA? ARE YA BLIND? (0)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550045)

Simple mistakes such as sending blind and deaf pilots into space ?

No wonder they need so many redundant systems...

Re:Practice what you preach (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549899)

Why would blind people need a different telephone???

Wouldn't they have braille on the buttons to note the numbers and letters that they match to?

Re:Practice what you preach (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549921)

Judging from your slashdot id, you could at least re-read "blind and deaf" as "deaf and blind"?

Eat your own dogfood (5, Informative)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549816)

Eat your own dogfood might be a better expression to describe it.

A lot of tech companies use it to describe th practice of using their own products in house. That's also where to discover many of the problems that infuriate customers.

In Australia ... (1)

max909 (619312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549662)

Only old people use Kaaza. Rest are addicted to BitTorrent :)

It just goes to show... (5, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549663)

Never write anything in a letter, e-mail, diary, memo or any other quotable medium that you don't want the other guys lawyer holding up in court.

Re:It just goes to show... (1)

Moo Moo Cow of Death (778623) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549677)

I second this fact, I mean, how many court cases does it take before people realize that taking down recorded (photo, writing or otherwise) information that they NEVER EVER want someone else to see is a "Bad Idea"?

Re:It just goes to show... (0, Flamebait)

ednopantz (467288) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549681)

These guys are in the business of stealing other people's intellectual property. Why get picky now? Keeping this stuff out of memos is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Intellectual "property" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549733)

Worst. Phrase. Ever.

Its one of those phrases that sounds really clever until you realize it has no meaning.

Nobody can define "intellectual property", yet we have lawyers who claim to be well versed in it.

Re:Intellectual "property" (2, Informative)

phats garage (760661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550027)

Intellectual property is similar to any other sort of property, ie., ownership. Its only an unnatural right if you look at programs and data as being meaningless streams of bytes. Once you realise that programs and other media like audio and video actually have a demand then you can make the leap that there is opportunity for supplying this demand. When ever there is demand that is met by a supply, you have a market. Since producing digital media is often considered a decent way to earn a living, society of course will support mechanisms that allow for rewarding media producers.

Now this market for programs and media implies that there is a product or service, and in this case the product is in the form of copies of programs and media. The big hitch is of course that the cost of production is mostly in design, ie., producing the first copy. This is of course the biggest stumbling block intellectually for folks because they neglect to consider that often this design costs money which is then often recouped via sales of the published copies.

The right to exclusively produce published copies is otherwise known as intellectual property.

Re:It just goes to show... (1)

huntse (782732) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549712)

Where I work they have a variant they call the WSJ test. Never write anything you wouldn't be happy to see attributed to you on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Re:It just goes to show... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549834)

Can I steal that?

Re:It just goes to show... (1)

TrueBuckeye (675537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549716)

Unless you don't mind if it shows up in court. This guy may very well have written that memo knowing that it would become a piece of evidence. CYA.

Re:It just goes to show... (5, Interesting)

Eminence (225397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549746)

This sounds very rational. And this is probably what people should do. However, both the original poster and you assume that other fellow's lawyers' right to read anything that you've written is natural and obvious. But shouldn't there be a limit? If that would be technologically possible to subpoena someone's thoughts would you see it as natural and right? I really don't like the idea that anything I write or draw might be used against me - I thought this rule applied only to testimonies after being arrested.

I understand that from the court's point of view such memos and letters are an important evidence that would allow them to judge not only the actions but also the intentions. Maybe that's what we should worry about? After all, it is really hard to prove intentions in cases like this - and even harder to judge them. An intention to rape & kill are obviously bad, but it is not as obvious with intention to develop a way for people to freely share files over the network. Here it depends on one's beliefs and interests whether he would see it the way I put it or as an intention to develop a way for people to steal precious and highly valued intellectual property of media companies. Are beliefs to be tested in court?

What a twisted philosophy (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549905)

Never write anything in a letter, e-mail, diary, memo or any other quotable medium that you dont want the other guys lawyer holding up in court.

I am feeling a bit optimistic today, but I would rather that everyone write everything down. That way, the scumbags will be obvious and you can get a more honest view of things. It is like saying "don't be evil" as opposed to "don't leave a paper trail proving you are evil"

Re:It just goes to show... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550092)

Never write anything in a letter, e-mail, diary, memo or any other quotable medium that you don't want the other guys lawyer holding up in court.

Wha?! How this instead: stand up for principles that you believe are just. That may very well mean trying to work internally to do whatever you can to make your place of business a place you are proud be a part of. In fact, I certainly hope so. It's absolutely ludicrous that Kazaa's technical officer should be lambasted for telling the truth. He should be commended.

Hijacks (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549664)

Hijack your web browser? Not this one.....

Posted with Mozilla...

article text (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549666)

just incase of the slashdot effect:

The Sale of Kazaa

Team Sharman came to court today with a strategic shift in direction: the revolution would now be a secret.

Their legal team presented a draft set of undertakings designed to suppress non-confidential documents from the media. It could have been a great plan if the Judge didn't think it was so crap, and with no supporting evidence for the basis of claim to confidentiality, Judge Wilcox swept away the majority of the claims for confidentiality by Altnet and Sharman.

There were 30 Altnet documents and four Sharman documents they didn't want publicised. We'll go through the Sharman documents today, and the Altnet documents later in the week.

The first item for discussion here at the Daily Dispatch is a 28 page contract between Kazaa B.V and Sharman, titled: Agreement for the Sale and Purchase of the Business and certain Assets of Kazaa B.V.

Buried within the most standard legal contract that makes you want to stab your eyeballs out, are the following nuggets of information.

When Kazaa's original Dutch owners got the jitters from pending US litigation by the music industry, the company was sold to Sharman for 600,000 Euros (about $1 million) to be paid in three installments. The purchase price included all company assets for the provision of p2p enabled software (which includes advertisement space for display advertising) to let users search and download files from other users.

Plus, all business and registered intellectual property rights, confidential information (defined as processes, methods, formulae, financial data, customer and supplier lists, marketing information, test results and reports, project reports, testing procedures, development manuals, training manuals, market forecasts, sales targets and stats, price sensitive information, research reports, business development reports), and all Internet domain names.

Bored yet? The sale took place in the Amsterdam offices of Van Doome at De Lairessestraat, and following the sale, Kazaa BV would have to change its name. Sharman was indemnified against all debts and liabilities and blah blah blah standard contract stuff. All employees were sacked after the sale (nice). Kazaa B.V ensured there was no Trade Union agreements or disputes in place at the time of sale. If there was, the leftie bastards would understand anyway, because every revolution starts a bit nasty. Of course, today Sharman enjoys the full support of a devoted staff that would never be treated so shoddily by their benevolent bosses if there were cause to up and move from a jurisdiction under legal duress. It's a revolution, it's Us against Them, it's Mabo, it's the vibe of the thing.

The Sales Agreement further confirms that when all employees were sacked, there was no way anyone could come back and haunt them to "assert any moral right in respect of any Business Intellectual Property Right." And if they did, then Zenstrom and Friis would be stung for it, not Sharman. So I'm guessing all employees were made to sign a contract as thick and dense as this one to make sure they kept quiet.

The original owners, Niklas "Skype" Zennstrom and Janus Friis were forbidden from competing with Sharman in any way for 3 years.

The deal was to be kept secret and not announced without the written consent of Sharman. The Sales Agreement was construed in accordance with the laws of England and subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

There were two clauses that seemed a bit odd. Under Schedule 3 of Vendor Warranties is the subheading Litigation. Clause 5.1 says:
Save as disclosed in the Litigation Letter, the Vendor (Kazaa B.V) is not a plaintiff or defendant in or otherwise a party to any litigation relating to the Business, which are in progress or threatened in writing or pending against the Vendor. So far as the Vendor is aware, no governmental or official investigation or inquiry concerning the Vendor is in progress or pending.

Then clause 5.2 says: Save as disclosed in the Litigation Letter, the Vendor is not aware of any circumstances which are reasonably likely to give rise to any such litigation, proceeding, investigation or inquiry.

Now, this is a pretty standard contract, and all the people involved were friends with an ongoing relationship in the business of revolutionising the Internet today. The court heard earlier in these proceedings that Bermeister, Hemming,, Morle, Rose, all knew each other before Sharman or Altnet existed. And Bermeister knew Zennstrom and liked the cut of his jib. So maybe, despite the surrounding circumstances of the sale, and the fact they were all brothers in arms, noone involved was really gunna point to this clause and say 'WTF, you said it was all cool'. Either that or they saw it, knew it and ignored it.

The rest of the Agreement wraps up standard stuff about the fact there are no Tax liabilities and the intellectual property of the business hasn't been breached. And you never want to read one of these documents raw while holding a sharp implement. In fact a straightjacket is recommended to avoid self-harm.

If anyone can see a reason why this stuff would be confidential, post on a thread below. I just don't geddit.

So why does Team Sharman care about such innocuous documents? Apparently they needed a win, says an Anonymous Coward. They needed a win against the music industry. If each day is about winning and losing, there hasn't been many days that Team Sharman can point to and say "Gotcha, ya big post-industrial beyatch."

Yet if they wanted Day 15 to go better, it was a curious choice of strategy to give the Judge a two fingered salute by not putting on any evidence, and having key executives in the revolution either jetsetting or trying to united troubled regions.

Then again, why does the music industry also want these bland documents made public. Speaking on the condition of gutless anonymity, another filthy Coward said it was all about shedding more light on the shadows from which Kazaa continues to operate. "It's just another part of a case that took 60 people, nine months and 10 lawyers to prepare. It's just part of the continuing process."

Joltid-Sharman Licensing Agreement

When this January 2002 licensing agreement was signed, Joltid was called Blastoise, but despite the later name change, it's the same company today incorporated in the British Isles tax haven of Jersey.

The License grants Sharman non-exclusive worldwide license to use and sub-license to Kazaa users the FastTrack p2p technology on a network established by Sharman. Joltid also agreed to regularly include modifications and bug fixes ordered by Sharman. Joltid retains all intellectual property rights, and Sharman agrees not to modify or reverse engineer the p2p technology without Joltid's permission. And they agree to take all necessary steps to protect Joltid's IP rights.

If either party happens upon confidential information from the other, they must keep it to themselves. This includes the regular stuff such as technical plans and strategies, new products, services or technology and financial and business plans. Sounds like they were planning on getting cosy.

The contract even says that all this confidential stuff goes out the window if the courts or government wants it, but only if the other party can first seek to have it hidden.

Joltid represents and warrants that its p2p technology will not violate any third parties intellectual property, including copyright. Or personal rights, including privacy.

This might include allegedly ripping off unlicensed songs for profit. And it might include letting your personal details be exposed to companies such as Media Sentry who might have breached Australian privacy laws, according to some lawyers. We should know the answers to these questions pretty soon.

Under the heading Disclaimers and Limitation of Liability, the contract says that if a third party takes action, then neither party shall have liability to the other in relation to lost profits.

There is a Mutual Indemnification clause that says they'll indemnify and protect each other in defense against any third party action. This includes attorney's fees. Does this mean Joltid is kicking in for the Team Sharman defense fund? The contract says they're a happy family. Or like blood brothers at least.

Not quite. If legal action happens against either company, the indemnified company would take control of the defense and pick the lawyers at their own cost. And if they have to settle a cost, they do so with the unconditional release of all liability to the one not directly involved.

The contract agrees to be governed by the laws of the State of California. This means if the parties have any disputes with each other, they will be resolved in State of Federal courts in Los Angeles.

While the music industry reckons Sharman and Altnet are intrinsic partners, this contract expressly acknowledges that Sharman and Joltid remain as independent contractors and cannot exert any power over each other and are not joint venture partners.

The Sharman signature on the contract is a name the Federal court of Australia has not heard before. Ashlea R. Terry signed the contract on behalf of Sharman and is listed as a director of Global Nominees Limited.

In a case where the identity of the owners of Sharman is still unknown, this new name could be relevant. Or just another generic solicitor playing golf in Vanuatu and signing contracts for thousands of shelf companies.

Morle mauls Socrates
Dispatch has a soft spot for Sharman CTO Philip Morle. Not just because he has only one suit. He's the only Internet revolutionary to have been shoved in the witness box by bosses he claims he doesn't even know. He proved in the witness box that being a self appointed technical visionary differs slightly to say, the likes of Jimmy Neutron Bates. But best of all, we like Morle because he took the dreaded and hackeyned Dispatch doorstop with good grace. And it's with the same good grace that we present the fourth document that Sharman wanted hidden from the public. It's a philosophical rant from Morle, which is printed and packaged to resemble a legitimate academic text, complete with footnotes and the longest title in the history of quasi-academia.

Kazaa Technology 2004 - Taking the Participatory Net to the Next Level & Preparation for Winning the Case By Phil Morle, also has a sub-sub heading printed atop every page: I Believe... (A Defining Rant).

It's a blistering insight into Kazaagate. It's the first sign that the Internet revolutionaries were not just the bunch of old-time pinchers that the music industry alleges. These revolutionaries thought themselves quite the bright minds, and Morle's Rant stands as a quasi academic attempt at intellectualising and documenting what Team Sharman must have thought would be their legacy. You know, when historians look back at the dawn of the digital age, they'll be able to draw upon the great works by pioneers such as Phil Morle. Or something.

Morle's proposition cuts to the chase. "I believe we are going to win our legal battles. I believe we should be working with the expectation of winning."

How? Why? With the religious zeal of a file-sharing fundamentalist, Morle says he has the faith and a sense of expectation that Dispatch has come to love from Team Sharman throughout Kazaagate. Like the spoilt private school boy I always envied, Morle declares: "With faith on what we do, we should rollout the products that we will be offering when this mess is over. I make p2p software because I believe that it is a globally important tool. It democratises the Net and in doing so, democratises culture."

Amen to that, and Dispatch is glad someone has finally recycled those old Net platitudes. It makes me all nostalgic for 1993; a time when Wired magazine was deeply significant because it was unreadable and Nicholas Negroponte wanted to be the Chomsky of the Net. And there was lots of talk about "new frontiers" from bearded guys who use to write songs for a crap hippy band that, I for one, am Grateful is Dead. They were innocent days. And like John Howard's beloved Fifties, Morle believes that the driving values of the Internet's halcyon days were so swell that they were kewl.

But Morle is more than a Net culture phreak. He's not entirely rooted in 1993. Morle remembers 1998 very well. It's about business, too. Man.

"The democratisation frees an explosion of possible commercial and non-commercial benefits to users and businesses. It sets culture free by allowing stuff to move between people easily and virally without a relative cost burden. This means that mass markets and niche markets can co-exist without the need of massive investments and hence without the need to be run by large monopolies (which are implicitly exclusive) but equally without not-needing them as well."

Seven years ago, Morle could have secured a gazillion dollars in venture capital with spiel like this.

But it's not all theory. Morle says he's analysed eBay and Amazon, and ripped off a bit of Metcalfe's theory to develop his own Group Forming Networks postulation. He says the "p2p product range" needs to move beyond trying to make a "dollar in everything" and move to a model where users can interact without passing through the central body". Morle likens this to the Telco model but it's unclear whether this means that the 2004 p2p model involves a central body. Either way, the demonstrations in court during Kazaagate show that Team Sharman achieved this dream. With distributed servers around the world, users tap them to make one-to-one communications much the same way phone users call each other via local exchanges.

But Morle says there's more to it than just one-to-one and invokes the power of Australian Idol. Dispatch likes an academic text that isn't afraid to go a bit pop culture to make its point. Further his Group Forming Networks theory, Morle looks to Australian Idol as an example that creates a business model around SMS voting, but also generated huge revenues for Telcos with ancillary calls and messages between voters discussing the competition.

So if a DRM file is available, Morle says that any accompanying fanclub to the file could also sell some merchandise. Those fans are part of other networks and can spread the gospel of available merchandise to vapidly consume.

"As each new user joins we gain the opportunities for more interactions - more value."

Morle is particularly vocal on the point of maintaining this dynamic. "As long as we add centralisation to the Kazaa experience we are losing the scalability (and therefore diminishing user experience through slowing down the application and needing to charge more for files) and potential for multi user to user interactions to occur, many of which could be financial."

In a chapter titled Technical Threats, Morle takes aim at his competitors and partners in a p2p world where not all p2p is created equal.

True p2p apps such as eDonkey are devaluing FastTrack and "biting at out heels" says Morle. Others are creating plug-ins that let users get on FastTrack without the need for Kazaa. "We need to move fast with next generation technologies to beat this commercial threat."

He admires the moxy of Sharman's risk taking competitors and urges the company to go a bit harder.
"Our competitors (notably eDonkey and Morpheus) are taking risks legally, but delivering compelling consumer solutions. We need confidence in what we do and must take similar leaps of faith. EDonkey is not yet being sued and is in a strong position to out-innovate us."

And finally there is the language of real revolutionaries. Under the subheading Arms Race, Morle gets military industrial.

"This year we risk a very damaging arms race between the major p2p companies." He details the shift in p2p development work that threatens to put Kazaa in the same dinosaur model as the record labels if they don't move quickly to work with new technologies.

"Open source development efforts from GIFT and MLDonkey have made it possible for developers to connect to FastTrack without the permission of the licensors. Morpheus 4, eDonkey and Shareaza is creating a windows (sic) connection to FastTrack as we speak. If we don't nip this in the bud then we may have to create out own connections to G2 and eDonkey, creating additional legal risk. In addition to that consumer threat - if consumers can connect to FT (as well as Gnutella 2, eDonkey and Bittorrent) and it has no ads or adware then it would seem a good choice."

"We need to deal with the (sic) carefully through a delicate mix of diplomacy with other vendors, technology and legal action. As much as possible I suggest we look at ways of working with them and exploiting it rather than fighting them - consider the mistakes the labels are making today in fighting decentralized networks."

There's the distinct feeling that Kazaa is falling behind the game in Morle's paper, and that the purpose of the paper is to document that he can see the future and if they miss it, well, don't blame him. He says part of the problem is that Kazaa's product base is too wide as it gets popular, and that it either needs to be rationalised, or the technical team needs more resourcing as it spends time translating the KMD to new languages and platforms for each new release - an exercise that comes at the expense of keeping up with more nimble players delivering newer technology solutions.

Morle acknowledges that this solution might not be technically workable "in a similar way to Napster's settlement decision". No wink, no nudge necessary.

Sharman employees hate Kazaa
Part of the allegations against Sharman in the Kazaagate trial involve breaches of the Trade Practices Act. That by installing Kazaa, the performance and cost of running your PC is affected and you are not warned about this.

Sharman has denied on numerous occasions that it installs adware, and to my knowledge has never conceded that running Kazaa would affect tasks as basic as web browsing.

But Morle is very concerned.

"We need to be careful with user resources. Most obvious is in the adware we add to their machine upon installation. This software slows down users' machines and can affect other activity such as browsing the Internet (as we have seen with PerfectNav). It is reasonable that we show ads in order to create our free software, but I do not believe it is reasonable to place a user in a position where this free software will also make their machine sluggish. Consider how many people that work for Sharman Networks and its partners that hate installing Kazaa on their machines. "

It's true. Nikki Hemming, Warrior Woman and leader of the revolution, once told an Australian newspaper that she never uses Kazaa. But she didn't quite put it like this.

Morle: Altnet has no commitment to p2p democracy
During the trial some emails were presented between Altnet CTO Anthony Rose and Sharman CTO Morle that showed they have their differences. In fact Morle once worked under Rose and during cross-examination about Rose's treatment of Morle, admitted Rose has a unique way of speaking to everyone.

In Morle's paper, the subheading "Diverting Priorities with Altnet" throws down a gauntlet about the difference in approach between the two technologies and the technical visionaries driving those agendas.

"Altnet has no commitment to the democratic element of peers using peer to peer networks for their own publishing. Their product is necessarily centralised and costs money for users. It is a web business model."

"Their focus is rightly on making their products work across multiple p2p networks (e.g. eDonkey) meaning that our user experience can be compromised through not being fully integrated and important technologies are not adopted (such as Kapsules).

"They have no commitment or plans for cross platform development while we are moving confidently onto other platforms. We have a Mac KMD 2 under development that will have no TopSearch. They either need to start this process straight away or we start looking for another partner for these platforms (But can we do this in our agreement? And if we do this, why have the resource inefficiencies of two providers? Big discussion to be had.)

Technical Opportunities
Morle's religious zeal gets into full swing under the chapter Technical Opportunities.

He talks about having better technology than his competitors, and the teams at Sharman being able to see the future and understand the p2p business better than anyone. There is also a glimpse at new technologies that he claims has non-infringing potential. Not that he's saying the current technologies do have infringing potential.

"Our next generation products - Kubed, Kapsules and Magnets - are ready to grow...and become more than just a file sharing application."

And like an indy punk band that really wants to top the Billboard charts, Morle clearly wants out of the subterranean p2p blues. "All these new ideas have mainstream potential and are un-ambiguously non-infringing. We are ready to move into the future in big leaps. Our competition has played its hand and we can see they cannot win."

New Products
Morle ends his paper outlining what the product lines for Sharman should be.

Obviously Kazaa. But he says it's "old technology that needs to be phased out and replaced with Kazaa Kubed."

And while Kazaa serves the mainstream audience now, it's no longer the place for early adopters and developers. He suggests a migration to Kubed and to continue the platform expansion and language translation program to French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Morle also suggests and immediate bundling of Skype, so they do listen to him since this has already happened.

Morle also suggests licensing KazaaLib and API documentation and whole GUIs based on Kazaa (like Grokster) to generate more revenue and preventing the damage from GIFT/MLDonkey.

Other product proposals from Morle involve Duran Duran, which is a web service for sites to integrate content much like an Overture search feed.

"Bands can have their files automatically listed on their websites with magnet links ready to download the file using Kazaa."

Kazaa Publisher is a p2p publishing app to rival Macromedia products. It's only in the conception stage and Morle recommends building interest in such publishing solutions to test if a market exists.

Kapsules Format is a standard for collecting files together to package licensed content. Kapsule extensions would allow shared playlists, blogs and distributed slideshows.

"I am more strongly of the view now that we should set Kapsules free. They create value in the network, open up more opportunities to use KMD in a non-infringing way and create the conditions for new products such as Kazaa publisher. Encouraging other vendors and developers to use Kapsules will make the value of Kapsules greater."

Magnet URI is another standard that lets web developers put p2p links in the web pages for p2p file downloads. "It is an open standard for Bittorrent type requirements."

Morle wraps up his paper to reinforce that Sharman's p2p vision is here to take over all applications, including email, browsing, and even p2p clients. He gives the following example as to how all these new Sharman technologies would link in the digital utopia he has envisioned for a company whose owners are still a mystery to him.

"Duran Duran is syndicated to a freeware/shareware download site like download.com (first link). Users can see on another site some files that we have available for p2p download. Users click on a magnet link provided by Duran Duran and the file and Kazaa opens to download the file (second link). Users could also email these magnet links to their buddies using Outlook etc - recipients click the link and Kazaa opens (third link). When Kazaa opens to download that file, it also queries Duran Duran and recommends a collection of related content. One click on the kapsule (fourth link) and ten files are downloaded and licensed. Basically we are passing Truenames around, transcending email clients, browsers and p2p clients. P2P is no longer confined to our application (though people keep returning it [sic] because they it)."

NEWSFLASH: Posting the text mostly obselete (0)

cuzality (696718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549857)

just incase of the slashdot effect:

Thanks, but mirrordot has it. "The old ways are burning in the fires of industry," you might say.

How much does this matter? (3, Interesting)

mistersooreams (811324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549670)

I can't see that this is going to blow major holes in Kazaa's legal defense, although I do think they'll lose anyway.



I don't think Kazaa's argument was ever that they "didn't know" about all the illegal P2P traffic they were generating. Surely their argument is the old "Common Carrier" one, where they aren't responsible for anything Kazaa transports and responsibility is shifted to the software user? Maybe I've misunderstood, feel free to correct me.



Now, this is clearly embarrassing for the company, and the CTO especially, but I can't see that it's of much legal importance. Everyone knows about Kazaa and spyware by now, don't they/

No, really (5, Funny)

Ignignokt (803398) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549671)

People would prefer programs without adware? What a stunning concept. At what point did "manifesto" replace "common sense"?

Re:No, really (2, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549851)

If it was comon sense you wouldn't need to spin it in a "Manifesto", would you?

Re:No, really (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549865)

People would prefer programs without adware? What a stunning concept.

Actually, I wouldn't mind adware that much if it was done right. As a matter of fact, if the adware was what kept the software free, I don't see a problem at all. Banner ads on many web pages are annoying, but they can be dealt with. Same with TV. Likewise, a ThinkGeek banner on the top of Slashdot is appreciated every so often when it alerts me to some new, weird, and totally cool toy I wasn't aware of, whether or not I buy it.

The problem enters when they try to use spyware in the same bundle, or are extremely excessive in the way they display ads. I do not mind ads, but I DO mind ads that are interested in snooping around at what else I do on my computer. When I visit a web site, I'm pretty sure they track me. It doesn't really bother me, because they can only track me within their own site, or affiliate sites for the most part. This is not that different from King Soopers tracking what I buy and when I buy, so that they can better stock the store. If I don't want to be tracked at King Soopers, I just don't use my member card. If I don't want to be tracked at a web site, I disable cookies. No big deal.

To be honest, these ill-conceived adware/spyware bundles are really costing genuine, non-intrusive advertisements, which is quite a pitty. Software etc. costs something to make, just like most other services and products, and as much as I'd like to see clean pure OSS just like the next guy, I also know that it ain't gonna happen. There will always be some commercial software I need or want to use, but would be happy not paying for it, and even more happy if I could do so with a clear conscience. (That is, not a pirated copy.) Now that adware has become so damn intrusive though, it's gonna be hard to have customers install software that has adware in it, even if the adware doesn't track you, isn't terribly intrusive, doesn't add considerable overhead to your computing resources, and doesn't take over anything.

Re:No, really (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549866)

ehhh,

I think they needed that money to support the development of Kazaa in the first place. So it's a trade-off between adware and a good product vs. a good product

OR

no adware and a mediocre product vs. a good product.

What would you chose. Anyway, at one point Kazaa was easily one of if not the best p2p app. out there.

And slashdot keeps advertising skype, (-1, Offtopic)

timecop (16217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549674)

Which is created by the same folks that started KaaZaa.

If skype installer doesnt container spyware today, it will have some tomorrow, take my word for it.

I'd stay away from anything created by this company or associated with them.

Re:And slashdot keeps advertising skype, (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549734)

It's hard to take the word of someone who is stating incorrect information.

Skype is created by the original developers of Kazaa, but the original developers did not include any spyware/adware in KaZaa. The spyware/adware was added to Kazaa after it was sold to Sharman.

Re:And slashdot keeps advertising skype, (1)

NSash (711724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549832)

Skype is created by the original developers of Kazaa, but the original developers did not include any spyware/adware in KaZaa.

You're right, they just sold it to people who did. That doesn't sound like the kind of person I'd trust.

Anyone get the feeling... (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549679)


That maybe this chap wasn't -entirely- on side with the business strategy of the company.

To me this sounds like a techy complaining that the business is subverting the idea. In many cases this is because the techy doesn't understand the business model, but here it sounds more as if the business didn't understand the market.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549735)

Kazaa has been a by word sinonimous with adware since I foolishly installed it. The only way I got rid of all the junk was a full format of my hard drive.

I did challenge one of the installed programs becuase it's uninstaller simply reinstalled a copy of the same program under a different name, then removed the original and itself. urgo turning adware into a virus (A virus is any program which replicated itself).

Upon threatening legal action against the adware makers I was delivered a one shot vacination and removal tool, which took the adware off and promptly rendered itself un-executable again.

All this just for things to take over my browser, and high light the word "plug" every five minutes so as I could go buy plugs from a retailer I'd not trust with the duty of holding their own ass, let along my credit card details.

And then programs which were monitoring my keystrokes, to which I promptly wrote a program to emulate key strokes and let it iterate the words "Go forth and multiply you useless toe rags" about 4 million times.

But yes it contains spyware, adware and infact very little software of any use (unless you wish to break the law).

Urgo, kazaa sucks, it's truely THE worst piece of software on the internet, and as such should be exorcised.

Xel

(ALL ADWARE AND SPYWARE WRITERS, ALONG WITH VIRUS AND TROJAN HACKERS SHOULD BE STRUNG UP BY THE KEYBOARD LEAD UNTIL DUKE NUK'EM FOREVER IS RELEASED)

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549909)

That maybe this chap wasn't -entirely- on side with the business strategy of the company.
To me this sounds like a techy complaining that the business is subverting the idea.


Actually, I think you're the one that isn't with the business strategy side. The CTO actually sounds like he understands BOTH sides of the deal, and is actually somewhat competent. His issue was that the methods used to create revenue were exactly what would turn around and bite them in the ass. He may not have been able to come up with a better way to create revenue, but he saw and identified a very real problem with the business strategy. Good for him. A lot of the dot-bomb was about non-techy managers not being able to figure out a good revenue model, and just letting the product go for free. The bubble burst, and now we have the same non-techy managers displaying that they STILL can't figure out a good revenue model, even when they're NOT giving things away entirely for free.

suprising, or is it? (5, Insightful)

Syini666 (622800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549693)

When your own employees hate installing the very software of their employeer you know its a recipe for disaster. With those kinds of feelings flowing around the office its suprising the documents werent 'leaked' earlier. For some odd reason I don't see anybody coming to Kazaa's defense in court now like Napster saw when they were up on the chopping block.

Re:suprising, or is it? (2, Funny)

chrish (4714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550023)

Can you download these documents on Kazaa?

Re:suprising, or is it? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550065)

For some odd reason I don't see anybody coming to Kazaa's defense in court now like Napster saw when they were up on the chopping block.

It's a little different now... Too many lawsuits, too much media coverage, and too much money pumped into "educating" the public about the "evils" of P2P and Kazaa.

Trial lawyers must not run Australia's economy (2, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549698)

Otherwise he's know that it's always a bad idea to tell the truth rather than CYA in a memo.

Which is not to excuse his spyware-infested piece of crap. But where ever business memo must be written in such a way that you csn't tell the truth because it might be used against you in a court of law, your have a big problem with your tort system.

Still... (4, Interesting)

DoubleDangerClub (855480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549704)

I'm still amazed that the people in charge of companies like Sharman, etc. think that chocking their software full of crap programs that infect and make peoples' pcs run poorly (to say the least) is the correct way to go. I guess it just shows that in the end, a proper p2p program needs to be open sourced. It seems the only way we'll get something people will want (want is emphasized) to use. It takes real people to make software to be used by real people I guess.

Re:Still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549926)

I really dont understand why Kazaa and the ilk have such intrusive advertising products with them. Surely having simple rotating banners on the product rather than adware, would still bring in revenue and more people would be inclined to use the products as they wouldnt be suspicious of them

We HATE to install our own software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549726)

"We HATE to install our own software" - HA HA HA HA
i think that is technically called cumeuppence!!

"stick that up your arse Tony Greg" - The 12th Man.

um.. (0, Offtopic)

chalkoutline (854917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549737)

People still use Kazaa? Just switch to SoulSeek [slsknet.org] , much better.

Re:um.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549812)

And why would i want to use a piece of shit p2p program that you have to donate to ever download anything(If you dont believe me, get it. use it for a month or whatever the period is, then try download something. you'll be stuck "queing" for 48+ hours, then the user who had the file will just sign off -_-)

Re:um.. (1)

Mazem (789015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549961)

I've been using SoulSeek for about a year now and never had it ask for donations. The thing about SoulSeek is that it's users are heavily oriented towards inde and electronic music. That's good if you are like me and are into that sort of music, but if not then finding what you want could be difficult.

King of the Hill (1)

siobHan (26220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549768)

Marathon Cigarette CEO: "The guy has collected every single item in our gift catalog; you have to smoke 90,000 packs. Let's face it, the guy should be dead by now!"
Lawyer: "I'm not putting you on the stand."

J

Re:King of the Hill (0)

ziggythehamster (824648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549978)

It's Manitoba (not Marathon). Go Dale Gribble!

OK, bear in mind (2, Informative)

ArbiterOne (715233) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549775)

Bear in mind that these aren't the Halloween Documents [opensource.org] . The article, for those who refuse to RTFA, is basically a summary of the documents- not the documents themselves. They don't say "we're selling a product which we know is poisoning people's computers", that's sort of implied across the board. But they still don't come right out and say it.

Hoisted... (3, Funny)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549787)

Hoisted by their own petards.

One nice thing about any devious plots. People always have to write them down to either keep their lies straight, or to justify it somehow to themselves.

VMware! (-1, Offtopic)

puzzled (12525) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549788)


I occasionally have to touch some dodgy Windows stuff. I have a VMWare win2k virtual machine that I clone - one copy with my accounting stuff (yes, stuck on Windows), one copy with Cisco cert stuff, and perhaps another if there is something untrustworthy I need to inspect. Since its Windows its *all* untrustworthy ... just imagine what a real operating system would be like if /etc & /usr/local/etc were jammed into one big, flabby hash structure ... frightful!

Re:VMware! (4, Insightful)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549804)

At the risk of inflaming passions, ANY OS is only as secure as its user. With a little common sense and attention to detail, it is relatively easy to keep a Windows XP installation spyware/malware/virus free.

It's even easier in the workplace where XP can be locked down on the security front.

Re:VMware! (4, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550012)

Ha.

I'd say I'm far from stupid - not a genius of course, but I do enough knowledge to administrate Unix and Windows systems, and write software. Yet I can't keep a Windows box spyware and virus free, unless that's specifically my objective.

I mean, it's certainly possible, if what you aim for is a spyware free box. Yes, I can use vmware, every virus and spyware scanner, try to make sure everything I install is 100% safe, and perhaps get a clean and hopefully useful box out of it. But no normal user does that, myself included. I'm certainly fairly paranoid and won't install random crap from the net, but nice looking useful tools can have spyware too.

If you want a real example, here's one. Go to this Azureus page [azureus.org] . Well, actually that's not the Azureus page. It's a page that some jerks set up where you download spyware. The real page [sourceforge.net] is on SourceForge.

The cost of forgetting to look with a critical eye at the fake page is to have your system infected with all kinds of crap that will then pretty hard to remove. And it's pretty hard, mind you. I could fairly easily have fallen for it, if I hadn't seen the official one before and wondered why they changed their design so much. Normal users don't run strings(1) on suspicious executables and google for information, though.

Now, you could argue that this kind of thing applies to Linux as well. True. However, there's a critical difference: On any sane Linux distribution, the official release of Azureus will be a package. And if the user downloads the software on their own, it'd be installed in their home directory. At least, while running under your account such crap is limited in what it can do, and has it much harder to wedge into your system as to make it hard to remove.

Boring (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549793)

It'd be more interesting to read if you ran it through the Fish and back [tinyurl.com] ?

Also

Kazaa Publisher is a p2p publishing app to rival Macromedia products.
Yeah right, like that's going to happen.

Why not much free software innovation? (4, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549802)

I develop a Gnutella p2p application (Gnutizen [sf.net] ) and have often wondered why so much of the popular and innovative products are propietary, and not more open. Napster was the first. Kazaa was the first to have "superpeers", but its network is now totally locked. Edonkey was the first good program for downloading big files, but it is propietary (there are decent Windows clients, but I haven't found any on Linux I like yet). And now eXeem has a propietary on may levels network technically superior to Edonkey in terms of speed.

I don't know the answer, but I guess I'm more qualified to answer than many because I've been coding one on and off for the past three years. I guess the answer is it's hard work. You're also not "following head lights", as even the eDonkey clones do. And the programming is not easy - with C language it's socket programming, which means all kinds of strange things can come over the network which have to be defensively coded against, and since you're using multiple sockets that means threading. And it takes a lot of code to just get a decent app, never mind cool bells and whistles. One reason mine is GPL is, aside from liking the GPL, this is my first big software project so I don't feel I'm at a level where I can sell my code yet. I've also borrowed GPL code from a program called gnut which helped. I would borrow from one called GTK-Gnutella but it's so big and complex it's hard to directly borrow from.

Of course there are exceptions - Gnutella (although AOL/TW killed the eponymous one, leaving only the protocol clones), and Bittorrent. With the Gnutella protocol, Limewire and Bearshare are commercial companies, but they agree on an open protocol, which they share with some free clients (like mine).

There are so many innovations possible - Bittorrent is one of the recent ones - it built on what Edonkey did, allowing hundreds of megs of files to be transferred, except with Bittorrent, it added speed to the picture. So because Bittorrent exists, people now have a better chance of getting ISOs of Linux distros, Indymedia videos or whatnot. It's such a cool area I wonder why the propietary folks so often beat the free ones in terms of innovation. I guess it's a wash now with who innovates more. And also, with sockets, trheading and protocols that obsolete older versions as time goes on (ay de mi!), it takes so long to get a decent app together that innovation seems a long way off.

I suppose another reason is the RIAA/MPAA is suing p2p developers left and right - that might explain why people are hanging back somewhat. It's unfortunate this fear is stifling p2p innovation. In many ways it seems ridiculous to me - on BBSs in the 1980s you had a file section and a message board system. Sometimes you didn't even have a message board - just a file section. People have been trading and sharing files on computers for decades, all of a sudden such communal practices are tainted, with accusations flying on Slashdot on how people use p2p to break some new laws that the big corporations passed recently in Washington DC that protected their soi disant intellectual property. It's ridiculous - there were normal BBSs and warez BBSs back then, just as there is an equivalent nowadays on the Internet. It would be insane for US-legal (for now) things such as sharing ISOs or Indymedia videos is crushed by the evil capitalist bourgeois corporations.

Re:Why not much free software innovation? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549858)

since you're using multiple sockets that means threading

If you're writing a SOCKETS app you should know that this is not the case. The select call allows you to handle sockets within a single event loop in a single thread. I'd urge you to develop your software in this model and go MT later if you need to. No-one wants to be debugging MT code, especially code that doesn't have to be MT.

Re:Why not much free software innovation? (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549948)

The goal of both Kazaa and Napster were about dominating a market. Being uno supremo means having no competition.

Now I'm an Apple fan boy. But they too use proprietary tech to make sure that just about the only things that will bolt on to a Mac or iTunes is an Apple product. Apple went the proprietary route for many of the same reasons, they wanted to be sure THEY would capitalize on the product's success, not a generic competitor. Especially since iTunes required licensing out intellectual property from other companies (namely the songs.) If they didn't have a way to lock down the exchange of music they would be eaten alive by lawsuits.

While proprietary does work for the first few years in a new market, eventually generic competitors WILL eat you alive. Which is why today "gnutella" is synonymous with p2p file sharing, and people say "Napster Who?".

What will happen with iTunes? Apple has actually built up a brand loyalty, not to mention a massive library of titles. I find paying a buck a download for music to be simpler, more reliable, and faster than trying to hunt for a song on a p2p network. And I have some pretty obscure tastes.

I guess it comes down to whether you are delivering a product or a commodity. Kazaa and Napster were middle men. They were crazy to think they could make money off of what is otherwise a generic service: file delivery over the Internet.

Re:Why not much free software innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550021)

mldonkey rocks the pants of emule and the like. Too bad they're low on developers right now, so there isn't much happening. The kad connection doesn't really work, although the overnet does sort-of in a leech mode.

Kazaa _must not_ fail (5, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549818)


<grumpiness size="extreme" style="curmudgeonly">

If Kazaa goes down, there could well be a flood of low-quality Britney_Spears_naked111.mpg traders and leeches coming onto the good p2p systems. I don't think I want that.

It'll be like AOL day all over again.

Support Kazaa -- or America's highschoolers will be trading on your network!

</grumpiness>

Re:Kazaa _must not_ fail (2, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549932)

It's hard at least on BT since the trackers can be moderated. And it's work for the highschoolers to create .torrent files and upload them unlike just clicking to share a 1,000 file directory of junk. I'd think their attention span is often short enough for them to just settle with leeching from BT trackers. ;-)

Too... (-1)

SuperJason (726019) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549824)

Too.....much......to.....read......

short attention span

plus 4, troll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549845)

Consider worthwhile this exploitation, OF AMERICA) is the 'doing something' polite to bring prospects are Obvious that there a`nd its long term

Re:plus 4, troll) (-1)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550053)

Are you drunk?

Out of curiosity... (1, Troll)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549900)

If you install Kazaa while running MS Antispyware, do you still get the adware installed?

Re:Out of curiosity... (3, Informative)

Xoo (178947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550090)

If you install Kazaa with MS Antispyware running, it will install all of the spyware, but MS Antispyware will pickup about half of the spyware immediately after installation. To get rid of the rest, a thorough system spyware check will kill it.

It's important to note that while you can kill the spyware bundled with Kazaa, if you modify the Cydoor installation, then Kazaa will cease to function.

Here is a good website [cexx.org] if you want to install "dummy" files to trick Kazaa and other adware software into thinking you have the spyware on your system, but really don't.

I think this is irony... (3, Funny)

signingis (158683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549919)

Haven't secret government documents appeared on Kazaa? ;)

Kazaa was for idiots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549959)

Kazaa has been designed from the beginning with the less cerebral folks in mind. I've always used gnutella and lately added FT, torrent, and freenet.

I really don't understand this (4, Insightful)

elliotj (519297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11549965)

1) People install Kazaa because they want to pirate music, pictures, video and software from the Internet
2) Kazaa puts spyware crap in their product
3) Users think this is unfair
4) Kazaa is in court because of what they did

Am I crazy? Is there someone out there forcing people to install Kazaa? How many people were installing it for legit legal use?

You don't want spyware crap? Don't install shady programs.

This is like sueing a drug addict because he let you share his needle and you contracted HIV. I really don't get what all the fuss is about.

Re:I really don't understand this (5, Insightful)

oirtemed (849229) | more than 9 years ago | (#11550075)

no, this is like suing a gun dealer because the gun he sold you had a gps device on it and the bullets were faulty. It doesn't matter that you were going to commit a crime with the gun. Kazaa purports to provide a legitimate product and service. If they are lying about it, they should be held responsible. Whether or not P2P is legal or illegal, or more importantly moral or immoral isn't relevant.

Australian-based company? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11549982)

Didn't they try transfering their ownership to some pseudo-sovereign island that is at maybe twelve feet above high tide? Or am I getting them mixed up with another of those flash-in-the-pan P2P companies?

Hold on... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11550049)

you mean there's someone out there still using Kazaa?
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