Napster and Kaaza

Why was Napster shut down, but Kaaza still operates? What’s the difference? Don’t they both promote illegal software?

Kazaa doesn’t have a centralized server to shut down, so it’s harder to stop. In a nutshell.

The RIAA is now going after those who download copyrighted songs:

(Emphasis mine.) Source:

Expect the RIAA to go after Kaaza users.

Napster wasn’t shut down because the software could be used to infringe copyrights… but rather because the company knew it was being used for that purpose, could have done something about it, and chose not to.

I am -so- happy I live somewhere where politicians still seem to agree that my personal life is my own. Anyway,

Kaaza should be shut down. All peer-to-peer software which doesn’t make use of (even temporary, arbitrary) centralized servers are bandwith hogs of the worst kind. This is why ISPs may more readily agree to monitoring of their (p2p software) use than would otherwise be the case. And no, the transferred files are not what takes most of the bandwith. The bandwith is chiefly taken up by the search quieries(sp?), and their answers, which may run in gigabytes for a single quiery(again, sp?) and its responses. When multicasting becomes a reality, this will dampen, but by no means disappear. This is why I am against most peer-to-peer software, not because it “may be used to distribute illegal copies of copyrighted software”.

/rand off
Ah, that felt good.

Er, that’s supposed to be “rant”. Sorry.

Your personal life is your own. Copyrighted material belonging to someone else is not your own.

I’m aware. However, giving ISPs the legal right to snoop on your connection looking for “illegal breaches of copyright” gives them an opening to start snooping for other things, too. Which could constitute a breach of privacy.

Also, how can they tell whether you own a license to use the information stored in a file you’re downloading from a peer-to-peer network?

Yeah but the thing is the ISPs, the RIAA, and the government are simply assuming that I will use the P2P software to trade illegal files, and monitor what I do online. That’s the part I don’t care for.

Granted, the whole subject is troubling. But, AFAIK, your communications over the Internet aren’t currently protected from snooping by your ISP, since your ISP isn’t an agency of the Government (I’m talking about U.S. law, here, of course - YMMV). The latest rulings let the Government twist the ISPs’ arms, but your privacy on the Internet has never been anything to crow about. The only safe rule is “never say or do anything over the Internet that you wouldn’t want the whole world to know about.”

(BTW, there is no “right to privacy” specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution; even if there were, it wouldn’t apply to a non-Governmental entity like a corporation.)

The reason Kazaa is still operating is because they have decentralized everything - not just the servers. (Although that is one very important difference between the two).

As a cite, I use the recent article in WIRED magazine (the one with the Hindenberg on the cover). After the RIAA targeted Kazaa the company set upon an aggressive program to make itself decentralized. The company now operates through holding companies based in Vanuatu, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. Vanuatu is famous (or infamous) for its tax policies (ie very low) and its ability and willingness to keep corporate information private. One thing the article did manage to find out is that the holding company for Kazaa in Vanuatu has no employees, but contracts its services out to different companies in New Zealand.

The RIAA has admitted that after over a year of pursuing Kazaa, they still really have no idea where to start the process of actually hauling somebody into court. Considering that the Napster case was done within US borders using centralized servers and Kazaa will have to be brought into several different courts around the world and does NOT have any centralized servers, I expect them to continue operating for some time.

Kazaa did make a big mistake when they shut down the original Morpheus network that was running on their licensed software; that proved that their network can be shut down. Perhaps it’s been changed since, though.

Doesn’t Norway make income tax records available to the public.

Ah yes, that’s the infamous privacy-breaching policy of the Norwegian government. Yes, they do make income tax records available to the public. I don’t think this is a very Good Thing. IMHO, though, that’s “the exception that proves the rule”.

Early Out, good points. Encryption can be used, though. Then, ISPs can only do traffic analysis.

I’ve always been leery of Napster and Kazaa for 2 reasons:

  1. The artists who make the music I love should be able to profit from their art. Even though it gets filtered through the greedheaded corporations, the artists should get my money.

  2. I’m uneasy about granting strangers access to my computer. Sure, the Kazaanians say I’m only offering up the files I intend to share. I think they are underestimating the ingenuity of determined hackers.

Do you have a cite for this? My impression was that the FastTrack network (Kazaa, Grokster…) avoids this problem by electing “supernodes” to handle all the searches. When you send out a query, it only has to travel as far as the nearest supernode. The supernodes use a lot of bandwidth and CPU time, but overall it’s much more efficient than, say, Gnutella.

We are going to stick to the General Questions here, and debate the “shoulds” in another forum. I believe this is the only General Question currently on the table.

I don’t think we are in disagreement. Supernodes mitigate the problem, but they don’t remove it. “The closest supernode” will probably be within your ISPs network, and then that supernode sends a query to hundreds of other supernodes, which in turn send it to hundreds of “normal” clients. It’s still a major bandwith hog.

I’ll look around, see if I can find a cite. Not right now though, breakfast awaits.