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Kazaa Backs Plan To Bill P2P Music Transfers

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the revenue-stream dept.

Music 388

Darth Coder writes "From this article at The Age: Kazaa has thrown its weight behind a plan to start billing song swappers for their music downloads. The idea is to phase in a billing mechanism for peer to peer networks, such as Kazaa and Morpheus. Initially payments would be by credit card, but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill."

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388 comments

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what if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192917)

slashdot charged for first posts? I'd be bankrupt!

Re:what if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192960)

First posts are not about money. They're about getting hot chicks.

Re:what if.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193049)

Hot nerd chicks by the dozen ? Clickety-click. [tinyurl.com]

Re:what if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193079)

Man, this porn is kick ass! Even better than The Hun [thehun.com] .

Sir Haxalot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192918)

He sure sucks a mean dick.

In Other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192919)

Music swapping file sharers prepare to abandon networks in droves.

Re:In Other news... (5, Interesting)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192931)

Indeed. We don't pay to listen to the radio. We won't pay to use Kazaa. To hell with them anyway. Kazaa is just a spyware riddled virus factory. I want Napster back the way it was!

Re:In Other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192953)

We do pay to listen to the radio. Assuming you've ever bought a CD

Re:In Other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193009)

or ever bought stuff that was advertised in the commercials

oops, I guess they do know who is pirating on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192921)

their networks... call the RIAA lawyers...

I never used their spyware and never will...

talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (5, Insightful)

Delphix (571159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192922)

and thus endeth Kazaa.

If they did that, how long would it be before another network popped up to replace them? Hours? I guess they forgot they aren't the ones who invented P2P...

I guess they also don't realize people use the network....because it's... free... Not free and it will go away.

Re:talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192939)

Eh, Kazza ended for me when it became known that they were going to start using people's machines without their knowledge to build a distributed computer. It's just been downhill after that. P2P clients like Kazza are as good as dead for pirates, and anyone with their eyes open would have seen that a year ago.

Wonder which will be the next to fall: IRC, Usenet, or BitTorrent?

Re:talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (0)

Skates1616 (667152) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192961)

Yeah but that's why Kazaa Lite became so popular and can be found here [doa2.host.sk] .

Re:talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192980)

Kazaa Lite was just a window dressing. And now it's gone from the memory of google, which is just about as good as wiping it from the face of the internet for your average user now days.

Really, the fatal flaw of most p2p file shareing networks is that they are owned by a single company, which makes the system pretty ripe for attack or exploitation.

Re:talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (0)

name773 (696972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193002)

this should be scrore:4, Obvious.

Re:talk about shooting yourself in the foot. (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193041)

"If they did that, how long would it be before another network popped up to replace them? Hours?" ...and how long before the replacements start trying to justify their business plan by hypothesizing that after they've built marketshare, then they'll cash in and charge subscriptions? If you have any sort of centralization on big, expensive servers (btw: Even bitorrent has such central demands), you will have to find a way to charge directly (no, tip jars wouldn't work) or indirectly. We all know that the indirect methods, such as advertisements/banners/popups, get worked around quite quickly.

Why should we pay? Why do we need Kazaa? (1)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193063)

I propose we start a non profit org which earns money through ads or whatever combination of profitable methods, and then this money gets donated directly to musicians, not the RIAA but the actual artists. I'm sick of seeinng stupid plans which take our money and give it to the RIAA, the RIAA does not create a damn thing and they do not deserve a penny and until our money goes to the artists I dont want to support this.

Not feasible (1)

havaloc (50551) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192925)

This is just posturing. Even if they were able to pull it off, imagine how many hashes each song would have. How many different versions of each song do you typically see on a P2P network?
It has to be server oriented to work, and is nothing more than a smoke screen for Kazaa, not that I am a record label sympathizer.

too bad (0)

stevebob2019 (601185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192929)

Kazaa had a pretty decent system. It's a shame it had to go.

Didn't Napster try this? It must be why they're still so popular ; )

This might actually be good .... (3, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192933)

... but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill.

If there was ever an incentive to get people to lock down their wireless networks, this is it.

ISPs will probably also like the idea that it provides an incentive for people to not share their broadband connections with their neighbors.

Re:This might actually be good .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193071)

If there was ever an incentive to get people who hate starbucks to take up war driving, this is it.

Partial Payment (3, Funny)

cubyrop (647235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192934)

Since all my KaZaA downloads end at about 4% anyway, will my payment be reduced 94%?

Re:Partial Payment (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192978)

No, they'll be reduced 96%, dumbass.

Why Share (5, Insightful)

Aoverify (566411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192936)

P2P file sharing apps work for just that reason. People sharing on their own free will.

What is the reason to share if you are paying for downloads?

MOD PARENT UP (0)

name773 (696972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193011)

this is an important thing here, the network should pay users for uploads of new songs. or would that be illegal all over again?

Music only? (1)

fadeaway (531137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192937)

What about movies.. and ebooks.. and software.. and roms.. and images.. and the personal documents of people dumb enough to share them..?

Still can't beat free...but these guys are trying (4, Interesting)

droopus (33472) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192941)

This sounds a lot like the AHRA (Audio Home Recording Act), which added a surcharge onto the cost of tapes, divided among labels, songwriters and artists, under the assumption the blanks would be used to duplicate music.

I don't think you'll ever get people to pay for what they can get for free. Why would I pay $1 for what I can get for free three clicks away?

There is an interesting experiment [yoo-play.com] going on where ex-members of Candlebox, (now KMHW) are giving away their next CD in return for label-like benefits ($$) by increased sales of their sponsors product. It's more like the sports model, where Shaq and Tiger make more money from Reebok and Buick than they do from their team/winnings.

Interesting alternative. But pay Kazaa though my ISP? Wouldn't that violate the "no internet taxes" law? Also, how would FTP, Usenet, and Freenet (among others) transfers be taxed?

It seems that what is happening is that labels are saying "hey this worked before, let's try it again!" Perhaps if more people considered new models [yoo-play.com] like the KMHW one, taxing bandwidth would be unnecessary.

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192963)

You don't think people will pay for what they could get for free? Explain hookers, please.

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (1)

droopus (33472) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192985)

You don't think people will pay for what they could get for free? Explain hookers, please.

Funny, but not a bad analogy. Pretend you're in Amsterdam and see two beautiful women in the window. One is free, one is $250 an hour, and she is slightly better than the free one. I know which one I'd pick. B)

If you're saying "why pay if your wife or gf gives it free" I would suggest that if you have a steady wife/gf you probably would make less use of professional resources.. heh.

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193045)

I would suggest if you have a wife/gf, you are paying in inumerable ways. "Oh yes honey, I'd much rather go to the flower show than play video games and drink beer with my friends."

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (1)

droopus (33472) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193062)

I would suggest if you have a wife/gf, you are paying in inumerable ways. "Oh yes honey, I'd much rather go to the flower show than play video games and drink beer with my friends."

ROFLMAO.

Proof that currency can be ephemeral, but the accounting software sucks.

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (1)

Snowdrake (139057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193008)

Explain hookers, please.

Two possible arguments:

  • Some people can't get that elsewhere. (Which usually equates to "can't be arsed to put out the effort," but that's another issue.)
  • It's not really free anyway. You missed all the costs that aren't expressly associated, but which really are part of the cost. Next to that, some reason, a hooker is cheap.


Offtopic? No, it's a digression. Go give your mod points to that guy down the page who deserves an Interesting.

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193051)

TCO for a woman. There is TCO for children too. It is either $1 or $20 million per clone, I can't remember.

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193023)

It's more like the sports model, where Shaq and Tiger make more money from Reebok and Buick than they do from their team/winnings.

There's very, very few atheletes that's true for. It's only really going to happen for the top 1 or 2 athletes in any given sport.

It's not a business model you try for; it just sometimes happens if you're the best at what you do.

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (1)

droopus (33472) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193037)

There's very, very few atheletes that's true for. It's only really going to happen for the top 1 or 2 athletes in any given sport.

Indeed true, but how difficult would it be to get at least the top 500 -1000 bands sponsored, lifting the subsidy off the labels' backs and maybe enabling them to do what they do well...find and market talent.

They havent had a chance to do that in ten years.

Hey I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's a pantload better than "we'll sue you motherfucker" don't you think?

Re:Still can't beat free...but these guys are tryi (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193075)

"Why would I pay $1 for what I can get for free three clicks away?"

Tell that to Apple's customers.

I'm sorry, but I've never been a big fan of this argument. People don't just pay for goods, they pay for services. Coffee is free where I work, but many of my coworkers still hike a couple of blocks to go to Starbucks. Why would they do that? They're engineers. They know that the coffee is free! So why do they do it? Because it tastes better! Starbucks is competing with free coffee where I work and winning.

So why would somebody pay for music when they can get it free from Kazaa?

1.) Availability on Kazaa is a variable. Availability on a web-based service is constant.

2.) Mp3s from a website will come down a good deal quicker.

3.) The user wouldn't need to download a bunch of different songs in order to make sure one of them came through in a reasonable amount of time.

Right now, I'm paying $10 a month for Listen.com's Rhapsody service. I have unlimited access to their 300,000+ song library. They have a nice search engine that makes it possible to find new stuff. When I want to hear a song, I just click it and within a few seconds it starts playing. Boom, I have the whole album right there. I don't get to keep the music, I have to stay subscribed to listen, but I'm paying less than the cost of one album a month for it. I don't use Kazaa anymore. It's not everything to everybody, but it definitely competes with 'free'.

You're right in the sense that the RIAA can't compete with Kazaa as long as they don't enter the digital arena. I completely 100% agree with you there. However, the view that they can't compete with it is short-sighted. There are plenty of examples of competing with free.

Could someone clarify something? (1)

loser7punk (608839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192942)

1. So it would just be another pay-to-download program or something more? 2. What do they mean " but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill."? From how I understand it, it is just another pay to download... (and would people just not switch to another p2p?)

Re:Could someone clarify something? (1)

Snowdrake (139057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193039)

1. Sounds like another pay-to-download. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck.

2. It means they think ISPs would really be sucker enough to buy into letting them say who to bill what charges, based on username or, worse, IP address. I can't imagine anyone biting on this without a *lot* better security and decent proof of identity, and even then, given Sharman's past abuses (start with malware and work from there), I wouldn't be inclined to trust them for even a second with the keys to my coffers.

I tend to agree that if this really is their business plan going forward, they're done.

In Soviet Russia..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192944)

they have an organized crime problem....

what did think I was going to say?

bwahahahahahahaah..

Re:In Soviet Russia..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192968)

you heap em big funny. funny like buffalo falling his pants down stairs.......

Re:In Soviet Russia..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192971)

Mod parent up, +1 informative

P2P, P2D (2, Funny)

I don't want to spen (638810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192945)

First, peer to peer. Now, peer to disappear ...

Re:P2P, P2D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193092)

rotflmao ... ty

Right on. (1, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192946)

Finally some compromise, I'll be glad when I can finally pay for the music I sometimes download. I live in a small town so trying to get my favorite bands is too much of a hassle because of long order times. Once this is fully phased in I can instead enjoy 3 minute downloads of my favorite songs through my broadband connection.

As a bonus, hopefully this could see a standard p2p system developed and maybe ported to Linux - then I could get rid of my Windows partition completely.

Re:Right on. (1)

beebware (149208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193035)

I'm in a bit of a similar situation - I like Werid Al Yankovic: yet getting hold of his stuff in the UK is near impossible. I've tried three seperate music stores and none of them can get hold of his stuff (CDs, tapes or DVDs) - and I've even contacted the band directly to try and get stuff imported in: but no go (last time I asked, they were only able to ship a Region 1 DVD - the UK is region 2). Hence, to enjoy his music I've got to use P2P...However, I've managed to find one person selling a Region 2 DVD of UHF on Ebay so fingers crossed it'll work (the bands website/email person denied that they will be/have done a region2 version so I'm not asking questions).

Make a cheap way we can get the stuff we like and we WILL buy it - make it cost prohibitive or otherwise impossible to get hold off, and we'll be left with no other choice than acquiring it "illegally".

Re:Right on. (1)

unborn (415272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193066)

All major P2P protocols have clients available for Linux

Re:Right on. (1)

NSash (711724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193070)

As a bonus, hopefully this could see a standard p2p system developed and maybe ported to Linux - then I could get rid of my Windows partition completely.

You haven't heard of LimeWire [limewire.com] (a Gnutella client), then? Wow... I can't imagine keeping Windows on a machine just to run a p2p program. (But then, you Linux guys aren't big on ease-of-use, are you? :P)

Uh right (2, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192947)

Not every download of an MP3 is copyright infringment. It's doubtful the RIAA will make any distinction.

Frankly, I don't see why they should make people pay for a service they're not providing, especially when they don't know why somebody is downloading an MP3.

Re:Uh right (1)

trublaha (650819) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193030)

If all Kazaa are going to do is charge for the service but not provide their customers with legal confirmation that they are safe trading files with them, then this isn't going to work.

Nobody will want to pay for the service if there's a chance that the legal contract Kazaa have made with the music companies (if any) is not watertight. What steps have Kazaa taken to ensure they can rightfully distribute the music so long as they charge for it? Let's face it, the company is rather dodgy and I have a hard time trusting them.

I totally believe in paying for music I like, if only so that some of that revenue ends up in the artists' hands

I would say this is a 5 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192949)

On the "How Much Crack Would I Need To Smoke For This To Seem Like A Good Idea?" Scale

Re:I would say this is a 5 (1)

UWC (664779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193056)

So you would need to smoke 5 Crack Units then?

Woo, so yeah, I really contributed to this discussion. Ah, would that I could formulate relevant comments.

Re:I would say this is a 5 (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193060)

5 dollars, 5 grams, 5 rocks, what is the scale? Certainly I would agree with 5 rocks.

all well and good...... (1)

thanjee (263266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192954)

Charging people to download songs is a good idea, but I would only support it if I knew my download money was going to the artist of the song I was downloading.

Then again MP3s don't contain any fancy packaging, and they take songs out of context, reducing an album to a bunch of singles.....Buying the full package will always contain a certain magic for me :)

hahahahhahaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192956)

yeah, ok .. this'll work :p

this is what happens when idiot business school
graduates get ahold of something

it all falls perfectly in line with how the world
works, tho

those who can - do
those who can't- teach
those who can't teach - become managers
those who can't manage -
they wind up 'english majors'

and those that can't be english majors wind up
as cmdrtaco or writing for PC World

Yeah, this'll work (2, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192957)

People are already beginning to become concerned with KaZaA's legality in light of the recent problems with the RIAA, and many are finding new filesharing networks. If they used Napster and figured out how to find KaZaA, they'll be able to find another like freenet or BitTorrent or something new that doesn't publish IP addresses, and the whole situation will start over again.

Once you give something to the public, taking it away isn't very practical, especially when the technical ability to 'give back' something that has been taken away exists among many talented people. It might not have been legitimate to start the initial P2P network sharing of music (though I'm not here to debate ethics), but it's been done, has been widely adopted, and is seen positively by music consumers. It's not going to go away when fifty million people want it.

If the RIAA wants to do something useful to preserve profit, they should provide lower quality versions of the tunes available for download. Three things that could be beneficial/changing for this:
  1. It'll give people something to download and listen to, if their reason for being on P2P networks is to preview music before contemplating buying it. They get to hear it, and they might be willing to spend their hard-earned money for a better copy.
  2. It'll put lots and lots of poorer quality mp3s on the filesharing networks, making piracy of the CD rips more difficult. If you can't download it and you really want it, buy it.
  3. Lowering the price of CDs will cause consumers to actually preview and buy music "legitimately", rather than relying solely on mp3 downloads which can be awkward to play in cars and on larger stereos without a computer connection. Not everyone knows how to take mp3s and turn them into CDs.
The RIAA doesn't seem interested in doing this though, so the situation will continue in perpituity.

Re:Yeah, this'll work (2, Funny)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193065)

"they should provide lower quality versions of the tunes available for download."

Lower quality? I didn't think it was possible for popular music to suck even worse, but maybe I'm wrong. Music that sucks [thespeciousreport.com] is a big reason people don't buy CDs. [dontbuycds.org]

Save us..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192958)

Please save us KazaaLiteK++. IP spoofing maybe?

Hmm.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192962)

Now, technically, if Kazaa wants to bill its users for downloads, shouldn't WE be getting paid? Kazaa itself only provides the login servers and the search mechanism. The overwhelming majority of the bandwidth and content provided by the service is paid for by the users themselves.

Why should I pay Kazaa when their service plays only a small part in the P2P network?

one word response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192974)

ebay

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193072)

>Now, technically, if Kazaa wants to bill its users for downloads, shouldn't WE be getting paid? Kazaa itself only provides the login servers and the search mechanism. The overwhelming majority of the bandwidth and content provided by the service is paid for by the users themselves

Haha, Microsoft should pay all those idiots whose machines get broken into and then gleefully spread viruses in their wierd virus.NET thing :)

> Why should I pay Kazaa when their service plays only a small part in the P2P network?

Time for Freenet? (almost) (1)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192966)

This could work out for the very best.

the Freenet [freenetproject.org] developers are currently working through some teething pains of the new Freenet routing protocol. When this settles (and this seems to be happening quicker than expected), Freenet should be ready for the really big time, especially with all the new Freenet client programs coming up for release.

With KaZaa 'phasing in' this billing, there's every chance that Freenet will be ready in time for the millions of KaZaa refugees.

Let's just see the RIAA/MPAA/BSA try to sue Freenet users. Would be easier to persuade Microsoft to release all their products under the GPL.

When will p2p networks realize... (1)

pheph (234655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192967)

That most people just don't want to pay2p

Once More With Meaning... (1)

trublaha (650819) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192970)

I wonder if the idea of paying for online music is now finally at a state where the average consumer can consider it. Apple's offering is one example of how successful it can be, and there are a lot of other options out there with different payment options.

I am curious to see if we see a mass-migration to another system (like from Audiogalaxy to Morpheus) or if people will be happy to pay for the service and stay.

However, can Kazaa can legally charge for the transfer of files it doesn't have any rights to? Have they signed any contracts with the big music-heavyweights?

Re:Once More With Meaning... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192990)

There will always be cheap-asses that somehow feel that free music is their god-given right, so I imagine the migration shall still happen. But at least there are now more choices for those of us that want to legally own the music we download.

Re:Once More With Meaning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193007)

Laws are for pussies.

poopoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192972)

lolz

billing policy (1)

spamchang (302052) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192975)

here's hoping stanford decides to start including free internet in dorms before kazaa goes stupid...

what about kazaalite?

Who's going to do QC? (1)

Rod76 (705840) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192977)

What I don't understand is that Kazaa is already riddled with fake, false or Madonnaized songs. Not only that but what about the random qualities you find. I see this as so much ass kissing to the RIAA, we bow down says Kazaa in tacit indignation to those who made it what it is.

oh well (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192979)

that's it for kazaa. what we need is a robust, decentralized network -- anyone know of any current implementations?

Re:oh well (1)

Sir Haxa1ot (715348) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193003)

freenet is good bittorrent is a cool linux app I use

Re:oh well (1)

Vint Cerf (713706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193054)

I heard about this one called usenet, and this other one called irc, but I'm not sure if they have clients for linux yet :-((((.

No. (1)

calcifer (649855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192981)

Paying their download fees still wont give you the legal right to download weird al songs and star trek episodes (or whatever the heck slashdotters download).

in the kazaa boardroom meeting: "our enormously popular service isnt making us much money. wtf? i know, lets start charging our users for every download. if they are ignorant enough to be using kazaa instead of kazaa lite, they wont realize that there are other file sharing networks."

well, they will make a few bucks this way, but only for as long as it takes for the alternative to become popular. in a few weeks after it becomes pay to use, the word will be out about the next big network, even among novice computer users, and things will move on.

so tell me, can kazaa lite still function if someone sets up a proper server for it?

billing is ok..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7192987)

as long as p0rn isn't effected :-)

Article got slashdotted, here's a mirror (1)

Sir Haxa1ot (715348) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192988)

Advertisement: Nokia mobiles Home > Technology > IT News > Article Kazaa backs plan that could spell an end to the days of free music By Sue Lowe October 10, 2003 Print this article Email to a friend The world's most popular song-swapping network, Kazaa, has thrown its weight behind a plan to start billing song swappers for their music downloads. The proposal, which could finally end the days of the free lunch for millions of music fans, has been put to big US record labels at the same time as a new legitimate version of the former file-swapping giant Napster is launched in the US. The idea is to phase in a billing mechanism for peer to peer networks, such as Kazaa and Morpheus, that allow users to copy music directly from each other's hard drives. Initially payments would be by credit card, but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill. With the success of Apple's iTunes and the launch of the new legal Napster in the US this week, the five big record labels are finally getting behind online music distribution. But they are still turning their backs on the peer to peers seen to support widespread music piracy. Kazaa now hopes the music industry will forget past grievances and tap into the cleaned up versions of the networks that already have millions of users, rather than build their own networks from scratch. "The whole effort here is to go where the consumers are, to convert all that energy to selling licensed music," said Marty Lafferty, president of the Distributed Computing Industry Association. Nikki Hemming, the Sydney-based chief executive of Sharman Networks, which runs Kazaa, said the business model offered "great hope for the entertainment industry". Kazaa says about 5 million simultaneous users are logged into its network at any time. Mr Lafferty predicted that within four years of the big record labels adopting the plan, online music sales would outperform traditional offline sales. By that time, he forecast, 1.8 billion licensed tracks would be downloaded a month, worth more than $1 billion a month in revenue. The five big record labels are yet to respond to the proposal. Print this article Email to a friend React to this article Submit a news tip Top Search all Fairfax archives (*Fee for full article) Advertisement Want to pay less credit card interest? 10.99% p.a.* ANZ Low Rate MasterCard Simply low interest. *Interest rate current as at 1 October 2003 and is subject to change Terms and conditions available on application. Fees and charges apply. Advertisement It news | Opinion | Reviews Technology * Microsoft pledge to improve security * Crackdown on immigrant visa lottery websites * Net pedophile jailed for five years National * G-G backs first strikes on dictators * Family judge warns MPs on custody * Qantas queries role of air marshals World * It's cultural genocide, says Dalai Lama * Plan to rename airport sparks controversy * Spotlight on vow to balance party politics and the books Opinion * Depression cuts a broad swathe * A reform only the PM wants * . . . but there is a better way Business * Ansell applies handmade solution to Sara Lee * Dollar surge hits finance giants * Perseverance leads Victoria's gold renaissance Sport * Murphy stakes early claim * India rocks New Zealand * Paulin takes long journey back to Melbourne marathon Entertainment * Where fashion reigns * Not your average frocks * Lady and gentlemen text | handheld (how to) membership | conditions | privacy Copyright (C) 2003. The Age Company Ltd advertise | contact us

Re:Article got slashdotted, here's a mirror (1)

Delphix (571159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193012)

did you really have to include all the random crap (advertisement?, and links to other articles?), and some how manage leave out all the spacing?

Re:Article got slashdotted, here's a mirror (1)

Sir Haxa1ot (715348) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193021)

You've got to learn to give back to the community man. That paper from New Zealand, they're not a charity, you know. Advertisers pay them and this way they pay their authors and editors to cover the costs, including the bandwidth costs that suddenly surged up. So by including the page in entirety, (1) you are not violating Copyright Law, (2) help to offload their bandwidth, (3) help the ad message to go through, (4) point slashdotters to other interesting publications.

Re:Article got slashdotted, here's a mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193052)

j00 sux at karma wh0ring.

unlike t3h re4l Sir Hax.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193058)

+5: Informative

why would they get a share of the moneypie? (2, Interesting)

Chryana (708485) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192993)

Sharman Networks does not pay my bandwidth. It does not hosts any music files. It does not need to run any server, except its web server. The only thing they give in the deal is their software, which they already sell. Can anybody give me a plausible reason for me to give them a cut of the money?

Re:why would they get a share of the moneypie? (1)

Snowdrake (139057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193078)

If I'm reading it right, they want to make their money as an agent between users and labels, iTunes-style, with the twist of trying to tack it onto your ISP bill to try and improve its appeal. I've already outlined why I don't think the ISPs will buy it, and given the lack of DRM inherent in most people's CD rips, I don't see the record labels buying it without a serious clue adjustment either. Alternately, if a DRM requirement becomes part of the bargain, then even with whatever they plan to use to identify any particular file, I see the traffic being considerably less.

Privacy concerns (0)

Fizban64 (544095) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192996)

well if they could track what you download and bill your ISP, how long would it take for Uncle Sam to build up a datacenter of everyones downloading habbits. I'm pretty sure they can't do it, but it does feel very orwellian.

4 years late. (2, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 10 years ago | (#7192998)

"Mr Lafferty predicted that within four years of the big record labels adopting the plan..."

Yea, but iTunes for PC launches next Thursday. Thus ends the MP3 "war". After that anyone who wants to pay can, and anyone who doesn't can go elsewhere. I don't see a crappy P2P service anywhere in the $ picture.

Thus ends the age of Kazaa (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193004)

In the beginning, there was Napster, and all was good.
Then Napster got shut down and Kazaa rose like a brilliant phoenix from its ashes and all was good once more.
Then Kazaa decided to start charging its users, and the future became very bleak indeed.
Until a new savior approached, destined to bring free content to the masses without any spyware.

You see, I hope Kazaa realizes that while people may be using them because they are the easiest to use now....that the convenience is certainly NOT worth paying for. The only reason the service is used as much as it is is because it IS free.

Not to mention the fact that they don't exactly have a massive bandwidth bill to pay because of the nature of P2P.

I wonder if Kazaa Lite and its ilk will be able to bypass this. I also wonder if this will spur the masses to move to other P2P platforms, thus giving a much needed boost to the userbases of alternative P2P programs.

ISP payments (1)

WhaDaYaKnow (563683) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193005)

Initially payments would be by credit card, but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill

Dream on, sphincter boys. Many people have tried to solve the problem of micro payments on the internet. The ISP is NOT going to handle this for you, and they shouldn't.

Never mind the 'automagical' detection of what you have to pay. No way that will ever fly.

btw (OT): what the hell is going on with the really low amount of replies to articles on slashdot (and the low amount of moderating?)

Re:ISP payments (1)

Erick the Red (684990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193068)

btw (OT): what the hell is going on with the really low amount of replies to articles on slashdot (and the low amount of moderating?)

Long weekend

Once they've tasted the free..... (1)

varun (174357) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193014)

....it's not going to be easy to make them pay.

After years and years of being overcharged for CDs with 2 good songs, people found a way out. Now that the idea has settled in and gained (massive popularity) I seriously wonder if *any* form of paid p2p is going to work.

All they can do is make implementation more difficult - which will simply drive attention, coders and users to FreeNet type applications.

They've made their millions (billions?) ripping the consumers off, and I suppose it's payback time.

I will never (1)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193017)

pay for any service like Kazaa where I can't be guarenteed the quality of the file I want to download. If i'm not guarenteed a mp3 of my choosing at a specific quality there's no point in me paying for it, I might as well just buy the damn cd.

When will these companies learn the only reason they have these huge numbers is because they're free and havens for mostly illegal activities, the second the piper comes along for money the people disappear. Happened with napster and many other apps, it will happen to kazaa, and the next big thing will pop up.

Yeah, right... (1)

DaveJ2001 (559498) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193020)

[i]"Initially payments would be by credit card, but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill."[/i] You know, if Kazaa wants to bill for their service, fine by me. But if you're telling me my ISP is going to scan ALL traffic going into and out of their network, and "bill appropriately" depending on what I download, then I'll take my business elsewhere. Uh, hello? They're ALREADY billing me $40 a month for the service, why should I have to pay extra for certain content? Never mind that it wouldn't work anyway... if they charge based on what ports are used, someone will figure out how to change it to port 80. If they search packets for MP3 file information, someone will write a "wrapper" program to zip and encrypt a download. Dave

Re:Yeah, right... (1)

DarkHazard (713597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193033)

Hmmm...did you ever stop to think that Kazaa would communicate with the ISP? Its Kazaa charging you here not your damn ISP(they might take a royalty)!

Pay for music, ok (1)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193022)

For Files on the shittiest P2P network as far as dumb users are concerned ? Yeah right I'll go download a shitty track ripped by an asshat at 128kbps with wrong ID3tags.. And then I'll have a Madonna song instead..

I'll pay for 128-256kbps VBR mp3s coming from a central server if the speed is a guaranteed 100Kb/sec, else, leave me alone and I'll "steal" stuff using Soulseek.

Re:Pay for music, ok (0)

name773 (696972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193081)

I'll pay for 128-256kbps VBR mp3s

why not ogg vorbis?

Credit Card required? (2, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193024)

From the article:
"Initially payments would be by credit card, but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill."

Those idiots over at Sharman realize that the majority of their userbase doesn't have credit cards don't they? Also, this is not something parents are likely to just hand over their card for. "Sure Jimmy, you can download all you want and charge it to my card, AND open us up to potential lawsuits!" Nope, I can't picture that one happening any time soon.

The one thing I would be interested in seeing is if by paying....if you were to download a copywrited file illegally, and then get busted...would they indemnify you?

Would they be held responsible because they would be profiting from the distribution of copywrited material?

Kazaa is now dead (2, Insightful)

DarkHazard (713597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193025)

The reason Kazaa appealed to people was because it had FREE music. How many of their user base will stick to Kazaa once it's a pay service? I'm sure once Kazaa makes the change there will be an instant replacement for it.

Sherman Networks seems to think that users will just stick with Kazaa because they know its name and they don't want to switch because Kazaa is nice and familiar. Their buisness plan just isn't viable. For example if I wanted to download a song on Kazaa I would get more than 100 matches. I choose to download one and it turns out to be a hoax, but its too late. Its already been charged to my bill. If they want to have any hope at success then they need to switch from decentralised to centralised, but of course that would defeat the purpose. So then they would have to introduce a rating system so users could tell if it was a hoax, and they'd have to figure out a way to eliminate wrongly name songs.

I personally believe then that Kazaa's only choice is to stick to giving their adware-riddled software away for free.

uh-huh. (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193028)

"Initially payments would be by credit card, but in the future downloads would be automatically detected and a charge added to the monthly internet service provider bill."

Do ya know when every single ISP will have the infrastructure to invite online services to tack on categorized fees?

Teh Nehvar.

If it sounds like bullshit, and quacks like bullshit...

Kazaa (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7193034)

After napster became pay, other forms rose. What makes anyone think that this situation will be different?

Perhaps it's all a ploy??? (4, Interesting)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193044)

Doing something like this may persuade the RIAA to back off of Kazaa, giving them a year or more of safety from lawsuits, as they are "preparing" a pay per download service...

Re:Perhaps it's all a ploy??? (1)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193069)

Exactly. They know there isn't a snowballs chance that anything like this is workable, but they can say "We made a good faith effort to work with the *AA on these issues, and were rebuffed."

Stay Away From My ISP Bill (5, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193055)

Ummm... someone gets a virus on my box, then convinces my ISP that I dowloaded a whole bunch of crap, then I get a huge bill, then I have to prove I didn't download?

No Thanks.

If that's going to work, the ISP had d*** well better be sure they are filtering packets on a per user basis, so that I can't download anything through the Kazaa port unless I really am a registered Kazaa user, and they had better make sure that if "I" try to do that they flag it as a virus and not a new signup or something. No other way.

Look.

The ISP billing right now is "pure". I get billed for connectivity and that's it. The last thing I need is for my connection to turn into something like the POTS line, where kids in the house could "dial" the equivalent of a 900 number.

WTF (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193083)

Is this just another spin on the tax for using the internet? What next?

MLDonkey baby (1)

oneself (104209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7193088)

Kazaa? Kazaa who?

I've been using MLDonkey [nongnu.org] for a while now, mainly because Kazaa doesn't have a GNU/Linux version, and it is nothing short of amazing. You can download files from any of about eight different networks, including FastTrack (Kazaa), eDonkey, Gnutella 2, and others. The important thing is that FastTrack--the underlying network behind Kazaa and Morpheus--is not controlled by Sharman Networks.

So now, they can back any old plan they want. If they get too greedy, their users don't even have to switch networks. All they have do to is just use a different client. I mean KazaaLite is already a really popular, and vastly superior alternative that they have _no_ control over.

So I say screw 'em. Let them ask for money until they turn blue. It doesn't matter.

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