Intellectual "Property" in the Digital Age
Frank Field
Links Home : IP Controversies : Digital Music : KaZaA & Morpheus (FastTrack)

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· Morpheus Exits FastTrack (16/16) · New KaZaa (16/16)


-REC KaZaa Is Legal, Dutch Court Rules
[12 hits, 3 votes, Average Rating 1.33] [Added: 28th Mar 2002]; March 28, 2002. A surprising turn of events, but now pointing the finger directly at the copier, rather than the technology. With links and commentary. The New York Times site has a Reuters story: Dutch Court Clears Web Music Swapping
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-REC Kazaa, Morpheus conceding defeat
[14 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 22nd May 2002]

ZDNet News; John Borland; May 22, 2002. "A legal fight that has pitted file-swapping software companies Kazaa BV and StreamCast Networks against big record labels and movie studios is collapsing as the small companies run out of funds." Well, maybe - but then Napster was supposed to go bankrupt, too, wasn't it? (Update: SFGate has an AP Wire story on the subject; and Slashdot has a discussion)
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-REC Kazaa, Morpheus, Brilliant
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Apr 2002]

Scripting News; Dave Winer; April 20, 2002. A good summary of the KaZaa, Morpheus, Brilliant situation.
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-REC Labels fight with file-swapper e-mails
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 15th Sep 2002]

ZDNet News; John Borland; September 13, 2002

Hoping for a repeat of Napster's legal flameout, the record and movie trade associations are using file-swapping company executives' own words against them in the attempt to close the Kazaa and Morpheus networks.

In court documents filed Monday, and kept under seal until Thursday, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA ) and Motion Picture Association of America used internal e-mails, message board postings, and interviews with executives in hopes of persuading a federal judge to shut down the file-swapping networks. The trade associations are asking for a summary judgment, or a quick end to the case before going to trial, against Morpheus parent StreamCast Networks, Grokster, and Kazaa parent Sharman Networks.

.. Indeed, the two sides at this point are struggling to define what the case is about. StreamCast and the other file-swappers want the focus of the case to be about the legality of peer-to-peer software, a technology that certainly has many other uses beyond copyright infringement. The record labels and movie studios are trying to narrow the case, seeking to prove that the companies involved deliberately built their business to take advantage of widespread piracy.

... Attorneys for Streamcast Networks say this exchange, and other bits of evidence like it, mean little. Neither Music City nor any other software company is required to build in specific copyright protection features simply because the capability exists, they say.

"Owning copyrights doesn't give you the right to dictate to people how to build their products," said Fred von Lohmann, an Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney who is representing Streamcast. "If that were the rule, it would make Microsoft, with Internet Explorer and Outlook, an infringer. It would make virtually every software company liable for copyright infringement."

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-REC Post-Napster Generation Poses Threat to Legit Services
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Aug 2001]

The IndustryStandard; Ronna Abramson. "Free digital download networks such as Fasttrack could have as many as 1 million users by September, a research firm says."
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-REC The Current State of File Sharing
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 19th Sep 2001]

InfoAnarchy; "erik"; September 16, 2001. A review of the current peer-to-peer file sharing tools. With Slashdot discussion: File Sharing: Decentralizing, Open-Source Fasttrack
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-REC Would You Download Music From This Man?
[11 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 10.00] [Added: 16th Apr 2002]

Wired; Jeffrey M. O'Brien; May 2002 issue. "Everyone else does. Meet the one-stop shop for everything from MP3s to A Beautiful Mind and every Game Boy title on the market." A look at the contribution of individuals to keeping P2P sharing going. " But as the battle over file sharing intensifies in the world's courtrooms, users like Verner, Canary, and Jack are providing the content that keeps the P2P community alive. According to a study performed by Xerox PARC researchers, the top 20 percent of Gnutella users are responsible for 98 percent of all files shared. These supersharers prime the network for an influx of users, which in turn creates a plump market for technology providers and advertisers. Thanks to them, file sharing has even improved in some ways since Napster's passing. Now, when you crash mid-download, Morpheus will pick up where it left off."
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-'Dangerous' hole discovered in Morpheus
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Feb 2002]

ZDNet News; Wendy McAuliffe; February 4, 2002. "MP3 fans using the Morpheus file-swapping service risk having their personal details exposed online, according to security experts."
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-A possible successor to Napster
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 12th Jul 2001]

SF Gate; Benny Evangelista; July 11, 2001 - a discussion of KaZaa and Morpheus and its current successes
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[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 22nd Jan 2002]

The REgister; John Layden; January 21, 2002. Summary of the KaZaA sale by Fast Track to Sharman Networks in the face of copyright litigation in the Netherlands.
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-Don't Eat the Yellow Links
[15 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 31st Jul 2001]

Slashdot; July 31, 2001 (roblimo). "If you have a popular file-sharing program called KaZaA on your computer and suddenly start seeing yellow links to obvious ads on some of your favorite Web sites, this is because a cunning piece of software called TopText was automatically installed on your computer along with KaZaA." SmartTags for one of the emerging popular file sharing programs - going by the name of TopText - with links and commentary
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-Dutch court cracks down on Kazaa
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Nov 2001]; Staff and Jaspar Koenig; November 29, 2001. "A Dutch court on Thursday ordered file-swapping software maker Kazaa to prevent people using its product from engaging in copyright infringement or face thousands of dollars in fines."
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-giFT WWW Page
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Nov 2001]

giFT - "gift isn't FastTrack"; an open-source peer-to-peer client; recently nailed when FastTrack obfuscated their algorithm/protocol so that you have to use their client, with adware. Possibly a deadly strategic choice for FastTrack, but we'll see. Information about the protocol, controversy, etc. here.
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-Jury to Hear File-Trading Case
[8 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 5th Mar 2002]; Brad King; March 5, 2002. A trial in the RIAA vs Streamcast Networks, Kazaa BV and Grokster will include a jury - another Marilyn Hall Patel case
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-KaZaA calims it can't stop users sharing music
[9 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Nov 2001]

The Register; Tony Smith; November 11, 2001. Response to the Dutch court order: can't be done!
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-KaZaA Forum Discussion - Top Text
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 3rd Aug 2001] - a discussion forum thread "discussing" the installation of top text and other programs with KaZaA - what the community thinks
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-KaZaa Gets the Green light
[9 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 28th Mar 2002]; Reuters; March 28, 2002.
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-KaZaA ordered to cease infringing copyright
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Nov 2001]

The Register; Tony Smith; November 29, 2001. Round... three? There's a Slashdot discussion: Kazaa to be shut down?
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-Kazaa picks up speed with an update
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 12th Feb 2002]

New York Times; Jim Hu, CNet; February 11, 2002. New version of KaZaA released.
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-KaZaA Resumes Downloads, Company Sold?
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Jan 2002]; CmdrTaco; January 21, 2002. One of the leaders of Slashdot reports that KaZaA is back, sort of. Possibly because it has been sold to an Australian firm; with links and commentary
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-KaZaa Sells Site, Software
[11 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 1.00] [Added: 22nd Jan 2002]; Reuters; January 21, 2002. Sharman Networks Ltd. of Australia now owns Kazaa
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-Kazaa steps out of the shadows
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th Apr 2002]

New York Times; John Borland, CNet News; April 23, 2002. "A new candidate to become center of the file-swapping universe has been unveiled: Vanuatu, a small group of Islands in the South Pacific."
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-Kazaa Still Up Despite Orders
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 1st Feb 2002]; Associated Press; January 31, 2002.
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-KaZaa Suspends Downloads
[14 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 18th Jan 2002]; January 18, 2002. Pending a Dutch decision expected January 31, 2002, downloading of the client software is not going to be allowed. Commentary and links.
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-Kazaa to Offer Subscriptions
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th Apr 2002]; Brad King; April 24, 2002. "Kazaa, the largest file-trading network running, has a new business plan that includes a subscription service, audio and video media advertising -- oh, and an offshore tax haven."
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-KaZaa: A Copyright Conundrum
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Mar 2002]; Brad King; March 4, 2002. There's a Slashdot discussion: KaZaa Conundrum - the Plot Thickens
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-Morpheus gets tune-up, delays 2.0
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 11th Jun 2002]

CNet News; Gwendolyn Mariano; June 10, 2002. "StreamCast Networks is tuning up the current version of its Morpheus software amid delays in launching the next generation of its file-swapping service."
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-Morpheus' File-Trading Fiasco
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 28th Feb 2002]; Brad king; "A software upgrade that shut down the Morpheus network--a network supposedly immune from such troubles--could be bad news for people who like to download free music." If, in fact, the network can be brought down by accident, then it certainly can be brought down on purpose, and courts will certainly figure that out. The consequences of getting greedy in the .com space -- again.
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-Music services' bid to dismiss lawsuits is rebuffed
[8 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 5th Mar 2002]; Dawn C. Chmielewski; March 4, 2002.
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-Music site Morpheus locks out users
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 27th Feb 2002]

New York Times; John Borland, CNet News; February 26, 2002. "StreamCast Networks' Morpheus--a file-swapping service that many have said would be impossible for courts to shut down--shut out most of its users Tuesday citing 'technical problems.'"
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-Napster alternatives gain popularity: FastTrack network has 1.3 million users
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 6th Nov 2001]; Benny Evangelista; November 6, 2001
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-Napster clones' popularity swells
[9 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 5th Nov 2001]

ZDNet News; Gwendolyn Mariano; November 5, 2001. "Alternative file-trading services continue to gain momentum and could soon surpass the grandaddy of song swaps, Napster, at the height of its popularity." Webnoize report for October, 2001. KaZaa, Music City and Grokster
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-New copyright suit hits file swappers
[7 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Nov 2001]

ZDNet News; Gwendolyn Mariano; November 21, 2001. The NMPA sues the parent companies of MusicCity, Grokster and KaZaa - software publishers promoting file sharing; and who may yet get nailed because of their need to profit from the network they have created.
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-PC Invaders
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 18th Apr 2002]

CNEt News; John Borland and Rachel Konrad; April 17, 2002. A look at the KaZaa "spyware"/Brilliant Network issue
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-Privacy of MP3 fans at risk
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Feb 2002]

BBC News; February 2, 2002.
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-Record industry sues Napster clones
[8 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 3rd Oct 2001]

ZDNet News; John Borland; October 3, 2001. "Adding a new challenge to their list of legal attacks, the record industry and hollywood studios have joined forces to sue Music City, Kazaa and Grokster, which together form one of the most popular file-trading networks to spring up in Napster's wake." This includes overseas companies, so it's going to be weird to see how this suit progresses. Update: A Slashdot discussion: RIAA Looks to Stop KaZaA, Morpheus & Grokster
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-RIAA, file-swappers ask for trial's end
[18 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 10th Sep 2002]

ZDNet News; John Borland; September 10, 2002. More legal maneuvering

Both sides want to end the copyright infringement lawsuit against popular file-swapping services Kazaa, Morpheus and Grokster quickly--they just disagree on who should win.

Attorneys for the record labels, movie studios and music publishers trade groups filed papers Monday asking a federal judge for summary judgment, or a ruling against the file-swapping companies before going to a full trial. The groups submitted sealed arguments they said stemmed from six months of investigation proving the file-swapping companies knowingly contributed to widespread copyright infringement.

All three companies have done their best to emulate Napster's success, creating "candy stores of infringement that allow a user to find the most popular music and movies of our time without paying any of the rights holders," the trade groups said.

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-Spyware vs. anti-spyware
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 26th Apr 2002]; Damien Cave; April 276, 2002. "The author of Ad-Aware, a program that removes sneaky software, explains what happened when his own program was zapped by the enemy." Letters from readers
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-Stealth P2P network hides inside Kazaa
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 2nd Apr 2002]

CNet News John Borland; April 1, 2002. 'A California company has quietly attached its software to millions of downloads of the popular Kazaa file-trading program and plans to remotely "turn on" people's PCs, welding them into a new network of its own.' There's a Slashdot discussion: Distributed Computing Program Hidden in Kazaa
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-The KaZaa Ruling: What It Means
[14 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 2nd Apr 2002]; Brad King; April 2, 2002. A look at the international implications, particularly with the latest WIPO treaties coming on line in the next couple of months. "The decision doesn't bind American courts, but it could weaken the overall structure of international copyright law if other countries begin offering safe havens to companies, said Bruce Lehman, president of the International Intellectual Property Institution and a member of the committee that developed the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the law that has been used against technology companies.
The Dutch ruling, and any other international decisions, could be made irrelevant in the coming months as two international treaties go into effect. "
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-The parasite economy
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 2nd Aug 2001]; Damien Cave; August 2, 2001. More on KaZaA, Toptext, and associated programs - the privacy implications. "There's a new software business model in town -- symbiotic plug-ins that pay for the privilege of piggybacking on the hot download of the moment."
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