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KaZaA Resumes Downloads, Company Sold? 203

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the watson-bring-me-my-sleuthing-hat dept.
Robert Johnson writes "According to an article on Dotcom Scoop, popular file-sharing service KaZaA may have been sold over the weekend. "As of last week the company was based in the Netherlands. However, upon close examination of its new terms of use license, the company now says, "This License as well as all disputes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the New South Wales, without regard to or application of choice of law rules or principles. Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this License, or in future agreements resulting there from, shall be exclusively resolved before the competent court in New South Wales," the article states. New South Wales is an Australian state." Update Apparently the website reverted to the former content which might raise a few eyebrows. Update: 01/21 18:17 GMT by T : DotcomScoop writes: "KaZaA isssued a statement regarding its sale after our story was published." Here is the statement and a little more info.
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KaZaA Resumes Downloads, Company Sold?

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  • What are the laws on file-sharing and Peer-to-peer networking in Aussie-land? Does this mean they can be blacklisted? Or does it mean that they can't be sued as easily?
  • Because of that Dutch thing [slashdot.org].
  • Thanks for the geography lesson.
  • way to go,fight them with legal means like they do you

    :))
  • So does this Aulstralian state have less stringent laws about Copyright violation? Is their a legal advantage to having the company there?
  • Smart Move. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by derrickh (157646) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:34PM (#2876476) Homepage
    If a country's laws dont suit your needs...move.

    It's only a matter of time until MS becomes based in the Cayman Islands.

    D
    • Re:Smart Move. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr.Spaz (468833)
      This may be "funny," but I've said that such maneuvering may be in the future for software / internet firms in the future. There's no big manufacturing plants to build and the money is right for them to "lease" a small island for 99 years and just plant themselves on it. And how hard would it be to recruit personnel to work on gorgeous Caribbean islands? Grow your company to the right size in a protected nation (see USA), then when that country starts to turn on you, pack up and head for your own mini country! If you had sufficient market penetration, the best they could do is put up or shut up.
      • Re:Smart Move. (Score:5, Informative)

        by sheldon (2322) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:53PM (#2876588)
        See previous article on Somalia having it's internet service disconnected...

        http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/11/23/1746 24 5
        • Any firm with that kind of power wouldn't necessarily have to tolerate that sort of ham handedness. I suppose that if the price is right, China or Russia would cheerfully launch their comsats. I also have little doubt that connectivity for the constellation could be bought from somewhere as well.
      • Re:Smart Move. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kaladorn (514293)
        You might headquarter there as many US Corps headquarter in states that offer shareholders more minimal rights. But I con't think you'd actually move your real physical HQ.

        You think it would be trivial to move the tech base required to support a computer industry? To provide all the things like medical, etc. that you require as infrastructural support? To provide equivalent services to all the nearby small companies your company does business with?

        I can't see it. And then there are the physical security issues. Remember, Sealand was once taken by hostile forces. And they are arguably inside UK territorial waters! And denial of service becomes far easier if your connection is a seafloor fibre pipe (oops, sorry about that Micro$oft...). Not to mention exposing your HQ and your employees to flooding and tropical storms. And all those wonderful bugs that dont thrive in North America.

        It might make sense to maintain a legal fiction with a lawyer and a P.O. Box down there, much like corps do in Virginia, but that's about the end of it. And in this New World of Terrorism (really, the same old world but with a new media focus...), it seems unlikely corporations would be anxious to locate to more vulnerable locations. Or did you think they'd pay for their own army, navy, air force, and significant intelligence assets? There are a few benefits to being HQ'd in the Continental USA!

        Besides, if M$ were to relocate to the Carribean, whose Judges would they buy? Whose DoJ would they bribe? :)

      • Re:Smart Move. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Incongruity (70416)
        And how hard would it be to recruit personnel to work on gorgeous Caribbean islands? Grow your company to the right size in a protected nation (see USA), then when that country starts to turn on you, pack up and head for your own mini country!

        Yeah, it'd be wonderful up until huricane abby or some such comes along and wipes out all of your senior software engineers...wait. Can we sell Microsoft on this idea?

      • This may be "funny," but I've said that such maneuvering may be in the future for software / internet firms in the future. There's no big manufacturing plants to build and the money is right for them to "lease" a small island for 99 years and just plant themselves on it. And how hard would it be to recruit personnel to work on gorgeous Caribbean islands?

        You mean like this nice large island in the Caribbean known as Cuba...

        Grow your company to the right size in a protected nation (see USA), then when that country starts to turn on you, pack up and head for your own mini country!

        Exactly where does this mini country get the sort of military hardware it may need to be sure of maintaining its independance?
    • It's only a matter of time until MS becomes based in the Cayman Islands.

      Why would they move after investing all that time and money buying all those american politicians, and getting all those pro-microsoft laws passed?

      Nope. M$ will stay where they are, this anti-trust thing will be dealt with by a suitcase full of money or the assassination of clueful judges. The bandwidth is too good in the PNW compared to backward tropical islands.

      the AC
    • If a country's laws dont suit your needs...move.

      It's only a matter of time until MS becomes based in the Cayman Islands.


      Or if its a Canadian company, break off a part of Canada (ie: Quebec) and declare it a seperate country!
    • It's only a matter of time until MS becomes based in the Cayman Islands

      What do they then do if they annoy the US government? Whilst they are US based the only thing they have to fear is the DOJ, move outside the US and they then have to face the DOD. (And the militry of any other country they might annoy.)
  • by Rupert (28001)
    Presumably no Chinese or Saudi company wanted to buy them. I mean, presumably they were looking for a buyer in an internet-hostile country?
  • by LordNimon (85072) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:34PM (#2876481)
    I'll admit it - I bought the company. Don't believe me? I have a receipt for $24.95 to prove it.
  • by Pop n' Fresh (411094) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:35PM (#2876489)
    If what we've seen over the past few months are any indication (broadband woes, ridiculous internet laws), Australia's laws won't be too kind to file-sharing. Not that it will matter to P2P users, they can just move on to the newest P2P startup that hasn't been gobbled up yet.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If what we've seen over the past few months are any indication (broadband woes, ridiculous internet laws), Australia's laws won't be too kind to file-sharing.

      So? If someone files a lawsuit against them in Australia they can just sell the company and move to Belgium. There are hundreds of countries on the planet to move to with IP connectivity. It's hard to hit a moving target, especially when the real world lawyers are using crossbows and you're flying around in a jet.
  • kazaa working fine? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ankit (70020) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:36PM (#2876492) Homepage Journal
    I am unable to get kazaa to work for the past day or so. I get the following error :

    Error logging into Kazaa, continuing as anonymous.

    I am using the linux client. Is it only me, or are others also having difficulty logging onto the network?
    • I had the same thing starting to happen this morning. I can't even create a new account. I don't see a linux download available anymore either...
    • Getting the same thing here

      An iteresting note is my username is followed by ??? instead of what was there (kazaa) I wonder if this has to do with them moving their servers, (anyone actually see if the IP space has change ?)

      I know recently they changed their keyserver, did they change it back to allow for automomous operation again, compleyley decentalized , as it was in the begginign ?

      Im betting dollars to dimes, they changed the keyserver info in some way or another to ELIMINATE being shut down as a whole networ, this is how it was originally supposed to work until clients other than their own started showing up on the network.

      The linux version was a quick and dirty hack at best, Has anyone on the windows side been updated since running thier client last ???
      • I have been getting the same errors since this morning. My flatmates running the windoze client are all connecting fine with no updates.

        There is now a follow up [dotcomscoop.com] story @ dotcomscoop quoting a statement from the company that has bought KaZaa, so it would seem to be true.
    • by daw (7006) on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:44PM (#2876879)
      Kazaa is a decentralized filesharing network with a centralized login mechanism. But authentication is really enforced only in the client. As insurance against being shut down by a lawsuit, if the login servers disappear, the clients are supposed to just forget about authentication and join the network anyway, by trying to connect to any of a series of hardcoded supernodes. This list is also supposed to be refreshed whenever you connect to the network.

      My guess is that the login servers are down and the linux binary's supernode list is out of date. (And I don't know about you, but I have to wipe out the whole .kza directory every time I run kazaa or it crashes on restart; so I surely don't have a refreshed list saved.)

      I further imagine that by editing in the address of a working supernode into the binary or config file somewhere, you can get the linux version to connect.

      Are Windows people connecting okay?
    • At least yours RUNS... mine displays the splash screen then segfaults.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:37PM (#2876496)
    With the recent posting about the mystery blacklist in Australia, I don't see how hosting the service from Sydney is really going to improve the situation all that much from the Netherlands. Sure, they're not currently being sued in Australia, but they're not currently being sued in Australia.
  • by samj (115984)
    Interesting someone would choose to base a company like this in Australia... given our track record with Internet censorship, banning porn [hosted down under], forcing gambling overseas (where it does just as much damage, except without our collecting taxes on it), etc.

    I'll bet they'll completely ignore the idea that this might actually be a GoodThing[tm] and use it as an excuse to push through more shitty laws.

    Anyway it's past my bedtime.
  • by eAndroid (71215) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:40PM (#2876524) Homepage
    Why sell to an Australian company? Am I totally wrong in assuming that the rampant government [slashdot.org] censorship of the internet would be a bad thing for this company? I could probably think of a dozen countries that would be a better place to have KaZaA.

    Well, at least they didn't move to the US.
    • They sold to an Australian company, because an Australian company wanted to buy them.

      The proper question then is, "Why would an Australian company want to buy KaZaA given the Aussies view toward the Internet?" The answer is quite obviously that they think they can make money.

      KaZaA will be turned into a pay service just like Naptster and they will partner with the labels and try not to run afoul of the law. If they accomplish this it doesn't much matter where they are.
  • Do they..... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wo1verin3 (473094) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:41PM (#2876529) Homepage
    have the potential to keep changing ownership of the company to various contries across the world?

    They could probably stay up for a few years just bouncing from country to country, or could they host the servers off shore us in some place like Bermuda with very lax laws in this type of instance?
  • Linux client no more (Score:4, Informative)

    by blackcat++ (168398) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:42PM (#2876533)
    Seems that the Linux client is no longer available for download. Posting a link to a mirrored version won't help either, since it stopped working. Error message is "Error logging into Kazaa".
    • This all makes no sense to me. Exactly six days ago I downloaded both the Windows and Linux clients. Saturday I installed the Windows client. About twenty hours ago I installed the linux one and was using it no more than tweleve hours ago. I haven't logged in yet today, but it was working last night.
      • Just yesterday afternoon (Jan 20) I was sniffing a wireless network in downtown salt lake. There was a lot of Kazaa activity there. I then moved to another nice location to sniff another network...there was active kazaa transfers going on in that network too.


        Can't tell you what client it was...likely the doze client, but it seems that the network itself was working as of yesterday afternoon.

  • by ccmann (118714) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:43PM (#2876537)
    Very odd. Moving the company to Australia doesn't spare Niklas Zennstrom (the guy who cofounded both KaZaA and FastTrack, the company that provides the software) of any liability for his past actions in Europe, especially given that Australia is a signatory to the same international copyright treaties as everyone else. Nor would selling the company be any help, unless he could hornswoggle somebody into assuming the liabilities. That seems unlikely, given that the vicarious infringement liability that Napster is exposed to -- identical to the one risked by KaZaA -- is in the billions of dollars. An acquirer would have to be crazy to take it on, and would probably have a hard time finding hosting services (they're legally exposed, too). And the service is still up and running exactly as it was before. Very hard to figure out this one.
    • >Australia is a signatory to the same international copyright treaties as everyone else.

      Yep, but... KaaZaa itself doesn't include any material that is of questionable original. The client itself is made of 100% pure legit code.

      Perhaps they hope that in Australia they won't extend copyright violation to include clients that can be coaxed into it?
      • Napster was hit for "vicarious" liability, which means (more or less) that they helped somebody infringe copyright, even though they didn't actually infringe copyright themselves. In other words, the company didn't actually have to download or use any copyrighted material itself to be guilty. As I understand it, the liability consisted of operating the service -- not in having a central index -- so that KaZaA could be charged with the same offense. To show that the service itself wasn't vicarious infringement, they had to show substantial noninfringing uses, which in the opinion of the court they didn't (I'm not making this argument, I'm just saying what the court said). KaZaA argues that it can't know what people are trading, because a) it doesn't maintain a central index; and b) the files are encrypted. IP lawyers have told me that these arguments are weak as a matter of law. That the FastTrack crew seem (on the basis of this article and the web posting on the KaZaA site) to be bailing would suggest that they agree.
  • Geography? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:43PM (#2876540)
    "New South Wales is an Australian state."

    So sorry, we Amerikuns can't learn geography this way. Australia needs to piss us off so we bomb NSW, and then CNN can show us where it is.

  • Slashdotted (Score:4, Informative)

    by metalhed77 (250273) <andrewvc AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:44PM (#2876543) Homepage
    for the unfortuanate:

    A week after the company stopped downloads of its software, Amsterdam-based peer-to-peer software firm KaZaA announced on its website that it had launched a new version of its software, that includes a pay service, and a cryptic message made it appear that KaZaA is now owned by an Australian company called Sharman Network Services. Or perhaps not.

    The Kazaa.com website was stripped bare of much of its content on Sunday and was allowing users to download an updated version of its software, although attempts to download this software were met with an error message.

    By 4:15 AM EST on Monday, the original KaZaA website was back up with no mention of new software or Sharman Network Services. But access to the new terms of use agreement was still possible and the copyright information at the bottom identifies "Sharman Network Services" as the owner of the website's contents.

    As of last week the company was based in the Netherlands. However, upon close examination of its new terms of use license, the company now appears to be based in Australia.

    "This License as well as all disputes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the New South Wales, without regard to or application of choice of law rules or principles. Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this License, or in future agreements resulting there from, shall be exclusively resolved before the competent court in New South Wales," the new terms of use dictate.

    New South Wales is Australia's largest state population wise and the home of Sydney.

    The "WHOIS" information for the Kazaa.com domain has not been updated, but a note posted on the KaZaA site on early Monday morning EST led users to believe that FastTrack, the company that created the code used for and owns KaZaA, and has licensed its code out to competitors MusicCity and Grokster, no longer controls KaZaA. Various searches for "Sharman Network Services" turned up no results.

    "The original brains behind Kazaa have moved on to develop new innovative software. The team now running Kazaa will continue to deliver the best technology for finding, saving and transfering all the data you want: no limits. Get ready for the next version of KaZaA with even better performance and enhanced usability," said a note posted on the KaZaA homepage, before it reverted back to its original state.

    In an ironic twist, one major new area of the company's terms of service agreement covers the distribution of the KaZaA software itself. KaZaA and other file sharing companies are under legal fire for allowing users to trade copyrighted material.

    "This License allows you to install and use the KaZaA Media Desktop on a single computer. This License does not permit you to install the Software on more than one computer at a time. You may make one copy of the Software in machine-readable form for backup purposes only. The backup copy must include all copyright information contained on the original," according to KaZaA's new terms of use agreement. The original terms of use agreement is still linked on the KaZaA homepage.

    The company has also apparently added new features that consumers will be forced to pay for.

    "Certain features of the KaZaA Media Desktop may require payment in the future including a prepaid fee ("Prepaid Fee"). The Prepaid Fee, and all taxes and other fees related thereto will be paid by you in advance. You shall pay all fees and charges incurred through your account at the rates in effect for the billing period in which such fees and charges are incurred. All fees and charges shall be billed to you, and you shall be solely responsible for their payment. You shall pay all applicable taxes relating to the use of the Software through your account. If you do not pay the applicable fees, including Prepaid Fees, within the prescribed period of time your account will be terminated immediately, without limiting KaZaA's right to demand payment of fees and damages at a later time," the company now says.

    The new terms appear to try to help KaZaA further indemnify itself from being responsible for users who trade copyrighted material.

    KaZaA suspended downloads of its software last week saying it was awaiting a Dutch court decision on its fate.

    "Download of the KaZaA Media Desktop software is temporarily and voluntarily suspended pending Dutch court decision on January 31. We apologise for the inconvenience. Please check back at www.kazaa.com for more information," the company said in a statement issued on its website last week.

    A Dutch court ruled in November that the company must stop its users from sharing copyrighted material. The ruling is under appeal and the court will make a decision on Jan. 31.

    KaZaA also recently added a disclaimer on its site regarding the copyright issue.

    KaZaA, MusicCity and Grokster find themselves the subject of international court pressure. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) launched a lawsuit against the companies last fall in an effort to stem the tide of peer-to-peer transfer of copyrighted music files.

    In October, an internal RIAA memo, leaked to Dotcom Scoop, outlined the RIAA's strategy to take on the file-sharing networks. The memo indicated that the RIAA would attempt to negotiate with FastTrack in an effort to shut down its licensees.

    "Thus, we recommend (1) filing claims against FastTrack, MusicCity, and Grockster, (2) immediately thereafter initiating discussions with FastTrack about resolving our claims in a way that will provide us with useful information and testimony against MusicCity, and if possible obtain FastTrack's cooperation in shutting down or converting MusicCity and Grokster," the memo stated.
  • by El Camino SS (264212) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:44PM (#2876544)

    Its a trap! Don't do it! They said they were free! All I wanted was some more Pogues bootlegs and now I've got a black helicopter in my yard!

    Oh my God...They're coming in! Aiiiiiiiieeeeee...

    (PAUSE- THEN DIALTONE)
  • From Their Site (Score:5, Informative)

    by xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) <xanadu@inorbi[ ]om ['t.c' in gap]> on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:45PM (#2876551) Homepage Journal
    This is stright from the front page of he web site [kazaa.com]:

    The original brains behind Kazaa have moved on to develop new innovative software. The team now running Kazaa will continue to deliver the best technology for finding, saving and transfering all the data you want: no limits. Get ready for the next version of KaZaA with even better performance and enhanced usability. Click here [kazaa.com] to read the new Terms of Use for KaZaA.

    To me, this sounds like a mass exodus, not a simple move to avoid some laws...
  • Napster Mark II (Score:5, Insightful)

    by parliboy (233658) <parliboy AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:46PM (#2876555) Homepage
    From the new terms:

    6 Payment and fees

    6.1 Certain features of the KaZaA Media Desktop may require payment in the future including a prepaid fee ("Prepaid Fee").

    The Prepaid Fee, and all taxes and other fees related thereto will be paid by you in advance.

    Guess someone in the RIAA managed to make a new acquisition, as per the leaked memo [dotcomscoop.com].

    Okay, new game. Who wants to make acronyms for KAZAA that indicate how f*cked they are?

    • The most disturbing part of that memo:

      Liability for contributory infringement attaches to "one who, with knowledge of the infringing activity, induces, causes or materially contributes to the infringing conduct of another . . . [L]iability exists if the defendant engages in personal conduct that encourages or assists the infringement." A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004, 1014 (9th Cir. 2001).

      It's already being cited to try and take down others. And with terminology like that, you could use that decision to sue people who even live in the same house as someone who downloads illegal MP3s.
    • Okay, new game. Who wants to make acronyms for KAZAA that indicate how f*cked they are?

      I'm sure that when they shut down again, we can all proclaim them
      Killed Again by Zealous Aussie Attorneys
    • Re:Napster Mark II (Score:2, Interesting)

      by pimpinmonk (238443)
      Heh... interesting memo. Ya gotta love the RIAA going against the DMCA or whatever that anti-reverse-engineering thing is called. There's not much proof that they tried to break the encryption, but it's suggested. From the memo:
      The FastTrack network designates (perhaps automatically) certain peers - more powerful computers with high-bandwidth connections - as "supernodes." [because of the system's encrypted communication, we are unable to determine how supernodes are designated].
      And:
      A supernode also connects to other supernodes. [because of the system's encrypted communication, we are unable to determine how one supernode knows how to locate other supernodes]. Vidius found that when one of its machines was in supernode status, it was connected to approximately 25 other supernodes.
      And this one looks particularly incriminating:
      KaZaA operates another server in addition to the log-in (.37) server and the (.38) server described above. That is alpha.kazaa.com (213.248.112.34), the address of which, as with the other two, is hard-coded into the application. The (.34) server communicates with supernodes [we do not know the nature of the communication]. During an interval when a Vidius machine was acting as a supernode, there were 12 different attempts by the (.34) server to connect to the supernode. Vidius reports that in a completed transaction the (.34) server sends approximately 1600 bytes of information to the supernode. In addition, as noted above, a supernode makes periodic connection with the KaZaA log-in (.37) server. Vidius hypothesizes that there is a loop between the (.34) server, the (.37) server, and the supernode, which is highly suggestive of some sort of control mechanism - the nature of which must remain unknown until the substance of the communications can be analyzed.
      I love that last line :P
  • by El Camino SS (264212) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:51PM (#2876577)

    I mean, they get KaZaA in their back yard...

    AND THEY HAVE TO PAY WHAT, 5 BAZILLION A MONTH FOR BROADBAND? With a bandwidth cap?

    I can already see a whole bunch of Aussies looking up in the sky and moaning like Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes when they find this out.

    "Damn you! Damn you all! ARrrrgggghhhh!"
  • Seems to me that Australia is well on it's way to beating China at Internet control. You think perhaps Kazaa moving / being sold to a company in Australia might cause a nasty problem?
  • Whether or not they continue serving up spyware to the public? Yea, you get your songs, but they get your information! Why would anyone want to install a bunch of garbage on their system? Here [f2s.com] is a link to a page with more information.
  • When... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by J'raxis (248192)
    When are people going to realize that if you try to build a business around giving away other peoples work that first youre going to get sued, and if that doesnt work, theyre just going to try and buy you out?

    Decentralized, head-less networks like Gnutella or Freenet are, once again, the only way to make sure this doesnt happen. KazaA may have a decentralized network but there still is the one authority distributing the client; if they go down, eventually the network they created will disintegrate. With Gnutella or Freenet, there&#x2019s no one to sue worth their time (individual users?), and no one to buy out at all.
    • When are people going to realize that if you try to build a business around giving away other people's work that first you're going to get sued, and if that doesn't work, they're just going to try and buy you out?

      Gnutella's backbone is run by businesses. Namely bearshare and limewire, which are making some kind of profit. They run the main cache servers that 99% of all gnutella connect through.
  • Ere you are:
    http://www.telegraaf.nl/digilink/teksten/digi.ka za a.sharman.networks.verkocht.html
  • by leuk_he (194174) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:57PM (#2876613) Homepage Journal
    There is an article [webwereld.nl] [dutch] on webwerel.nl:

    "According to a monday released press announcement the buyer - Sharman Networks - it is a aboute certain parts of KaZaA. The following company parts are "in ieder geval" involved: The website, name(/trademark), logo's , and a licence on the peer to peer network of fastrack. If the client software is involved is unknown

    Futher details are not made public. What amount the from Australia coming Sharman Networdks paid for KaZaA is not clear. According to Nikkki Hemming, CEO of sharman the continuenece of Kazaa is insured. "we think it is fantastic to resume the service of Kazaa and development the tradmark Kazaa"

    [sorry for the bad translation, my dutch is better]

    rest of article is stuff we already know.
    -download suspended.
    -talks bumra stemra (riaa)
  • by Beautyon (214567) on Monday January 21, 2002 @12:57PM (#2876615) Homepage
    Which country has the best mix of sensible copyright law and robust internet access?

    That is where you want to locate a Napster/Kazaa/Morpheus/$whatever; a place where the legislators have better things to do than "fix" imaginary problems, and where everyone from everytwhere can connect fast, every time, 24/7/365.

    How long will it be before countries face sanctions for allowing unfettered file sharing from thier soil?

    The lobbying pressure will be strong for sanctions, because investors are still putting money into pay for stream/download business plans like Peter Gabriel's OD2 [independent.co.uk]
    • How long will it be before countries face sanctions for allowing unfettered file sharing from thier soil?

      Not very far, I think. Most technologically advanced nations are signatories to international copyright agreements that frown upon file sharing.

    • There is an old anti aircraft fortress off the coast of England that someone claimed soveriegnty. He named it Principality of Sealand. On this nation, he created a company called Havenco [havenco.com] which will host anything that might be considered: "risky, subversive or plain old anti-establishment" without any legal actions from any government.

      Go here to read more [www.exn.ca]
      excerpt:
      Sealand was originally used as an armed fortress in the Second World War as one of the most easterly aspects of the UK, whose main role was shooting down Nazi bombers, U2 rockets and other undesirables.

      In 1967, the island - then known as Roughs Tower - was founded as a sovereign principality with a currency called the Sealand dollar - which runs at parity with the US dollar - and with English as its official language.
      Sealand was founded on the principle that a group of people dissatisfied with oppressive laws and restrictions of existing nation states can declare independence in any place that is not under the jurisdiction of another sovereign entity.
      The state's independence was upheld in the British courts in the late 1960s when a judge held that Roughs Tower stood in international waters and did not fall under UK legal jurisdiction.
      ...
      HavenCo is offering what it calls "secure Web hosting" on its server farm for any company or organization that is looking for a Web hosting service that is free of any existing global legislation and tax laws.
      Although Samir acknowledged that HavenCo could well attract companies wanting to offer tax-free havens for customers wanting offshore services, the firm's main emphasis would be in attracting organizations looking for Web site hosting facilities free from any possible monitoring or censorship from third-party governments.
      With its high degree of independence, he said, Sealand offers an ideal home for those organizations looking for a totally offshore Web hosting facility.
      Samir said that, while Sealand obviously cannot defend itself against a serious military attack from a country such as Great Britain, its operation is heavily armed to protect the firm from pirates.
      "We also chose to locate in Sealand because we know that the UK respects the law. Any legal problems that could develop regarding our sovereignty would be heard in an English Court of Law," he said.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        First, it is expensive to host on Sealand. The yearly cost for managed co-location is $15,000us.

        Second, I doubt that they created it to allow copyright violations. They did it, I suspect, to allow individuals to place data outside of prying government hands. Since they too have ISPs, probably located in the EU, those governments could be persuaded to shutoff internet connectivity to the island if the need should arise.
        • From their Acceptable Use Policy [havenco.com]
          Unacceptable publications include, but are not limited to: Material that is unlawful in the jurisdiction of the server. For instance, if a customer's machine is hosted on Sealand by HavenCo, content which is illegal in Sealand may not be published or housed on that server. Sealand's laws prohibit child pornography. Sealand currently has no regulations regarding copyright, patents, libel, restrictions on political speech, non-disclosure agreements, cryptography, restrictions on maintaining customer records, tax or mandatory licensing, DMCA, music sharing services, or other issues; child pornography is the only content explicitly prohibited. At the present time, child pornography is not precisely defined; HavenCo is obeying rules similar to those of the United States, specifically a prohibition on any depiction of those under 18 in a sexual context.


          Also, with the support of UK (whom granted them sovereignty), it is quite unlikely that they get disconnected. It is like saying that we are going to cut off all the internet to California because a Gnutella hub is based there. Also, they are seeking a second connection to another place in Europe. For RIAA (for example) to be able to get the power to do such a thing would be quite unlikely and/or cost a lot of money. Also, I don't think the EU is quite supportive of RIAA.
        • First, it is expensive to host on Sealand. The yearly cost for managed co-location is $15,000us

          Does this include bandwidth?

          If so, it's a pretty Damn good price. Only about $1250 a month.
  • Does this mean they've dumped kza-linux for good?

    There's no mention of it on the site and it stopped working rather abruptly sometime yesterday.
    • Re:KaZaA Linux (Score:5, Informative)

      by mathboy (10519) on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:11PM (#2876672)
      No it continues to work for a current session if you didnt restart after the changeover. I noticed this on one of my two kazaa sessions on different boxen so I went to try and test to see if I could login via the other one. So I quit my 2nd sessions and then couldnt login again. I proved my point.

      Then I slapped my head and said "DOH!"

      * DONT terminate your running linux clients! *

      they'll stay running if you dont kill them.

      Someone gonna hack the protocol to do a fake insert of a hacked linux client into the network?
  • my linux client wont login at all, just sits 'connecting...'. (some suggested that the linux client logs in as anon and continues as always)

    since there's no way to get at more interactive or per-peer user functions in the linux client (and you dont have to see advertising!) it doesnt much matter that you're anonymous (at least it didnt matter to me :)

    trying to sign up again as a new user doesnt work either. and there seems to be no new version for linux to download on the site.

    do others have a different version for linux?

    mine was 294517 Dec 18 17:52 kza.linux.tar.gz
    which calls itself .0401

    (if yours works, can, i uh, get a copy? :)
  • This is probably the first action where an internet company has avoided a court order by moving its base of operation to another country. If this is continued, KaZaa could potentially avoid shutting down by doing this each time they are sued. One thing though, this would cost RIAA a whole lot of money to keep up with them.
  • Same thing C= did... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OneFix (18661)
    Most likely, they've not been sold at all. This used to be pretty common for companies to do. For those that don't remember, Commodore did this back in the 70's so they could pay lower taxes. They incorporated in the Bahamas I think. One advantage is that when the company goes bust, the top executives can't be touched. It happened in C='s case and if it can happen with that company (massive debt and serious problems with management decisions), it could easily happen with KaZaA...
    • It's also extremely common that if you want some technology you just go out and buy it.

      It's all speculation now. I mean, what if Sharman is actually a huge SPAM operation? They've just bought a huge client base. When you download their "new" software, it automatically uploads SPAM to your system, and then distributes it to all the other peers. There are plenty of RIAA conspiracy theories out there as well. Who knows.
  • by Froze (398171) on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:03PM (#2876640) Homepage
    It would seem that the disgruntled users have decided to switch to gnutella. This chart [limewire.com] shows that an increase of 400% overnight just occured . Shuting down a truly decentralized P2P network won't be so easy.
  • ..that they provided to the court stating they didn't have the ability to stop users from using the software/network since by it's very nature it is decentralized.

    By disabling the linux client from being able to connect, haven't they proved otherwise?
  • The only chance if we don't want to look for another service twice a week is not to depend on central servers and, even more important, on single companies that can simply decide not to support Linux any more or to suddendly charge per download etc.

    There are a number of Free alternatives, like Gnutella, Freenet [freenetproject.org] or the FastTrack-Clone giFT [sourceforge.net]. Use them. Make them work. Make them get big. Donate billions of dollars for advertising :)

  • by morzel (62033) on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:34PM (#2876786)
    According to ZDNET Belgium [Dutch Text] [zdnet.be], the buyer appears to be "Sharman Networks", an Australian based company.
    They've also acquired the fasttrack licence.

    Users will be required to agree to new terms of usage, the next time they log in.

    • A search of the Australian Tax Office online data as of the 20th Jan, didn't reveral an ABN number for Sharman networks. (An ABN - australian business number - is required for all for businesses operating in Australia)
  • Music City (Score:3, Informative)

    by ImaLamer (260199) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ramal.nhoj>> on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:43PM (#2876866) Homepage Journal
    I just downloaded Morpheus this morning because a major HD crash pushed Kazaa off with the rest of my data.

    Now I read on that site in the RIAA letter that they [RIAA] is teaming up with the Fast Track team [MC&Kazaa].

    Not good for me since my registered name on Morpheus is: IH8URIAA.

    I must also report that about 30 mins ago I wasn't getting files [segments] from Kazaa users, but now I'm doing that and also getting great speeds.

    I'm going to gnutella [mainstream] if Limewire puts a tad more work into their program. It's great now, and so is gnutella in general. But it doesn't have the 'juice' like Fast Track does. I know I will get flamed for this.
  • by Profe55or Booty (540761) <greg@@@pcrash...cjb...net> on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:56PM (#2876976) Homepage
    from the terms of use:

    6. Payment and fees
    6.1 Certain features of the KaZaA Media Desktop may require payment in the future including a prepaid fee ("Prepaid Fee").
    The Prepaid Fee, and all taxes and other fees related thereto will be paid by you in advance.
    You shall pay all fees and charges incurred through your account at the rates in effect for the billing period in which such fees and charges are incurred.
    All fees and charges shall be billed to you, and you shall be solely responsible for their payment.
    You shall pay all applicable taxes relating to the use of the Software through your account.
    If you do not pay the applicable fees, including Prepaid Fees, within the prescribed period of time your account will be terminated immediately, without limiting KaZaA's right to demand payment of fees and damages at a later time.

    *sigh*
    • At least it's pre-paid and doesn't suggest that sometime down the line you will get a bill for the thousands of dollars that you 'saved'.

      I've read complete web pages warning that Fast Track keeps track of what you dl, and may use it against you some day.

  • This sucks... does anyone have a copy of the linux client?
    Does it work?
  • So here is the text...

    Dotcom Scoop first reported earlier today that it appeared that file-sharing service KaZaA had been sold after the company's website was mysteriously changed early this morning and then reverted back to its original form.

    The company issued the following statement this morning:

    "Jan. 21, 2002 -- Sharman Networks Limited, a privately held company, has purchased certain assets of KaZaA BV, including the popular consumer site KaZaA.com, distributor of KaZaA Media Desktop software. KaZaA BV is the Netherlands-based software and products company that founded KaZaA.com. The transaction was announced by Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming.

    KaZaA Media Desktop is a full-featured peer-to-peer file sharing software that allows users to search, download, organize and play media files. Included in Sharman's purchase of assets are the license for the FastTrack P2P Stack, the KaZaA.com Web site, name, and logos.

    "We are thrilled at our opportunity to resume the KaZaA service and further develop the KaZaA brand,'' stated Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming. "We value the millions of users of KaZaA's software and will continue to enhance and grow our core offerings."

    KaZaA BV will continue to operate its remaining assets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed."

    No further information was provided about Sharman Network Services. As we reported earlier, the company appears to be based in Australia due to information contained in KaZaA's new terms of use agreement.

    A search for Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming reveals that she was the CEO of Sega World, an electronic theme park in Sydney, Australia that closed in late 2000. If that is indeed the same Nikki Hemming.

  • by billstewart (78916) on Monday January 21, 2002 @04:24PM (#2878017) Journal
    Wait - are they saying you can resume downloading now? Or are they saying you can download their resumes if you're interested in hiring them? :-)

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