Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
The Internet Software

Kazaa/Altnet To Pay Users For Trading Content 225

mesozoic writes "News.com is reporting that Kazaa and Altnet are unrolling a setup where users are paid to distribute 'authorized content.' The article also mentions something about getting rid of unauthorized files, but is unclear on when and how. I'll be paying close attention to whether this P2P business model pans out; Sharman _has_ shown some shrewd business sense in the past."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Kazaa/Altnet To Pay Users For Trading Content

Comments Filter:
  • Payed for spam! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by krisp ( 59093 ) * on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:48PM (#6098923) Homepage
    The hosted files that are authorized by content companies will show up in ordinary Kazaa searches. A company distributing a pop song, for example, might buy the keyword "Britney Spears" and links to its content will show up for people searching for the singer's work.


    Great, now I can get paid to host some companies spam on my computer. Lucky me!
    • Re:Payed for spam! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aborchers ( 471342 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:30PM (#6099506) Homepage Journal
      Wouldn't you only be hosting the "spam" if you had elected to download and serve it? It wasn't clear to me from the article that you'd have to host everything that anyone made available.

      BTW, I quote spam because it doesn't qualify if someone chooses to receive it. It is only spam if it is pushed on a user unrequested. Losing that distinction muddies an extremely important issue about our right to control what communication we receive.

      • Re:Payed for spam! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tha_mink ( 518151 )
        BTW, I quote spam because it doesn't qualify if someone chooses to receive it. It is only spam if it is pushed on a user unrequested. Losing that distinction muddies an extremely important issue about our right to control what communication we receive.

        Sure but if you think you are getting one thing, like a brittney spears video, and instead you get some promo video for some porn site, then that qualifies as spam yes?
    • In soviet russia the spamers pay you ????????
    • Don't they think that if people were getting spam rather than the files they wanted, that some kind of countermeasure (lists of known good checksums, or something) would show up?

      Of course, from what I understand, these networks are pretty spam-filled as it is ... so maybe users really just don't care.
    • authorized content!! everyone needs to read that very carefully...

      your small movie companies movie you shot, made and own is NOT AUTHORIZED content same as your own music you wrote and performed, that software you wrote, etc....

      there is a big difference between legal content and AUTHORIZED content....

      I personally dont want any part of this scam on kazaa's part.

      pay me to host free items like indie films, indie music, books, Free software..... not some tripe your "partner companies" want me to host.

      if
  • by sweeney37 ( 325921 ) * <mikesweeney&gmail,com> on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:48PM (#6098924) Homepage Journal
    how about this idea instead, they take out gator [gator.com] and any other nasties they include.

    they can keep the money, we'll just call it even.

    Mike
  • by hatrisc ( 555862 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:50PM (#6098960) Homepage
    almost as dumb as getting paid to look at more ads while surfing the internet (a few years back). users were paid so little that it wasn't worth it. and hacking it got your account killed. those bastards.
    • by yintercept ( 517362 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:40PM (#6099607) Homepage Journal
      In reading the article, I can't help but wonder if anyone is really foolish enough to trust Kazaa with their money? As an advertiser, I would always wonder if the paid downloads really happened (was it actually a person downloading or a hackering mimicking downloads for cash?)

      As a host, I wouldn't put much faith in actually ever receiving cash from the company. Schemes like this tend to have a history of absconding with the cash.

      Of course, it would be nice if there were an easy way for college students to make a little bit of cash by selling their school's bandwidth.
    • I don't know about you... but alladvantage worked out pretty well for me... At my peak I was getting $300 dollar cheques every month... before they changed the model to the "lottery" style.

      All it took was around 10 direct referals...
  • what ifs... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spytap ( 143526 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:50PM (#6098962)
    If they try to go legal, they'll get trounced by Apple, disowned by computer users, and end up lie the legal version of Napster...forgotten.
    If they stay illegal, they'll get trounced by Apple, keep their user base, and not make a penny for it. Great business sense indeed...
    • If they try to go legal, they'll get trounced by Apple, disowned by computer users, and end up lie the legal version of Napster...forgotten.

      There is another [sf.net]

  • This sounds good in theory but I would be surprised if it actually pans out to be profitable in the long run.
  • Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:52PM (#6098995) Homepage Journal
    Why do I picture a bad made-for-TV movie (yes, I know that's redundant) where the guys are looking at each other, nodding, and saying, "you know, it's so crazy it just might work..."
    • A group of movie studio bosses discussing ideas for new movies...

      Studio Boss 1: I got a great idea, think Arnold Swarznegger, whats he known for ?, being a great big serious tall guy with muscles. Think Danny Devito, whats he known for ?, being a funny short fat guy. So imagine Swarznegger and Devito, toegether, as... wait for it.. Twins!

      Studio Boss 2: Thats so crazy it just might work
  • This sounds even better than when Bill Gates e-mailed me saying he will pay me $5.00 for every person I forward the message to!
  • by valisk ( 622262 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:53PM (#6099005) Homepage Journal
    Here in Europe we can listen too and pass around Public Domain copies pre 1953 works, where the author is dead, so Elvis etc, but in the US this according to RIAA is 'Absolutely Piracy.'

    So say someone in the USA downloads my copy of 'That's When Your Heartaches Begin' to complete his Sun Studios collection, he would be a law breaker, a german doing the same would be enjoying his right to peruse material in the public domain, but where would I stand?

    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:08PM (#6099218)
      According to copy right laws in the US, works are copy-righted for the life of the author plus 70 years. It used to be 50 years. So Elvis' work will still be the property of his estate (or the record company depending on who actually owns what) until 2047.

      With the Internet, things are less clear because the expanse and reach of it have only recently been addressed in the courts. Presumably, someone in the USA downloading your copy would be breaking copyright laws whereas someone is Germany would not. That is the present situation until the courts or governments decide otherwise.

    • Not exactly (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:11PM (#6099267)
      Here in Europe we can listen too and pass around Public Domain copies pre 1953 works, where the author is dead, so Elvis etc

      Actually, that is not entirely so. In Europe, copyright expires 50 years after the death of the author, not 50 years after the work is published and the author is dead. In the US, the current limit is AFAIK 75 years. As a consequence, Elvis' works are not yet in public domain in Europe.

      Other than that, you are absolutely right; it raises some interesting questions. For example, the works of George Orwell passed into public domain in Europe two years ago, but when I featured them on my Web site, I was quickly presented with a cease-and-desist letter from a US publisher. Residing in the US and having all my files on a US-based server, I had to oblige.

    • I believe you would be screwed under the US laws... pretty much like when Amazon was forbidden to ship Mein Kampf to some countries. (Germany?)

      It would not be practible to sue you, but if someone ever want to do it, then I believe you would have problems...
    • but in the US this according to RIAA is 'Absolutely Piracy.'

      Actually, I believe the quote is "absolutely piratical". Which is even funnier.
    • Umm, but Elvis is still alive, so that's a bad example.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    (Insert obligatory SP reference of list of steps with the 2nd last step being "???" and last step being "Profit")
  • Seems to me.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpaceCadetTrav ( 641261 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:53PM (#6099012) Homepage
    ...that it would be easier to just host the content themselves. The real value is in getting listed in the search results, and bandwidth is relatively cheap compared to the complexity of a system that tracks and pays random idiots on the net. Of course, I am probably wrong.
    • I think I would prefer if they hosted the content them self. I wouldn't be to happy about paying to download stuff from a network where I can't be sure to get the whole file. I don't think p2p i to great for distributing stuff that people have to pay for.
    • Re:Seems to me.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) <error@ioe[ ]r.us ['rro' in gap]> on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:18PM (#6099338) Homepage Journal
      ...that it would be easier to just host the content themselves. The real value is in getting listed in the search results, and bandwidth is relatively cheap compared to the complexity of a system that tracks and pays random idiots on the net. Of course, I am probably wrong.

      If you have 300 people downloading a 3MB file, that's 900MB you've got to move. Few people can afford to have that much bandwidth on demand. This is why things like BitTorrent [bitconjurer.org] exist. Now that I think about it, this system could do for small files what BitTorrent does for big ones.

      Either way, this will save the content provider quite a bit of money in bandwidth. How much does 1GB of bandwidth cost these days? Suppose 300,000 people want that 3MB file? How much does 1TB of bandwidth cost?

      • Wow, your figures are so convincing, except you completely left out that pesky dimension called "time". Pop in another quarter and try again.
      • If 1 TB is only going @ 120 K / sec, it doesnt cost anything. We have a full T1, and there are no bandwidth restrictions on it at all. Other than the obvious 1.544 mb
        • If 1 TB is only going @ 120 K / sec, it doesnt cost anything. We have a full T1, and there are no bandwidth restrictions on it at all.

          OK OK you're right. But there are two other things. First is time, like the previous poster rightly mentioned. Do you want your T1 saturated for two hours? The second is your server. Can your server handle 300,000 requests for a 3MB file in two hours? My (very bad) math works that out to ~40 requests a second. Your typical Big-Ass Honkin' Server isn't going to have

      • ou seem to think people get billed how most hosting providers bill per meg delivered bandwith in general is baught peak rate on 95 percentile with current costs at 100mb a sec and faster running sub hundreds from everybody and priced down to ceogens crap 30 a mb with abovenet at 50 and verio at 80. So you can get a 30k cogent gigE uplink so 300k people could DL a 3 meg file in about 8000 seconds or a little over 2 hours thats not even enough to satuarate dialup.

        Now lets all remember that in cable broadban
    • Re:Seems to me.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by patchmaster ( 463431 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:19PM (#6099352) Journal
      It's distribution on the cheap. This whole thing sounds like the Loud Cloud deal the FastTrack guys tried to put forth a couple years ago. They were selling it to potential distributors as a way to distribute their files without the need for any infrastructure and with effectively no bandwidth costs.

      They were initially going to force regular FastTrack users into assisting with the distribution if they had downloaded the file(s) in question. (They would force the file(s) to be shared.) Then a few people, myself included, started screaming rather loudly, and they eventually started looking for a different business model.

      The problem with this scheme, as well as all its previous incarnations, is it doesn't directly provide any value to the entities bearing the cost. It silently pushes the bandwidth costs onto the ISPs of the P2P users. Eventually those costs will be borne by all internet customers. At least with this scheme they're making an attempt to provide some reward to some of those who will bear the cost. Those customers not using Kazaa will just have to deal with even higher ISP costs without receiving added value.
  • by infinite9 ( 319274 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:53PM (#6099014)
    Sharman _has_ shown some shrewd business sense in the past.

    Yeah, just don't squeeze him.
  • Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stanmann ( 602645 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:54PM (#6099020) Journal
    I can earn peer points for allowing my computer to be used as a distributed host for someone elses software. From P2P to B2P2P, except I don't have to want the stuff on my computer.

    Next stop, My computer will be used as a pr0n server without my knowledge, and since it will be (semi-)encrypted, I won't even necessarily know about it.
    • Re:Great! (Score:3, Informative)

      by gpinzone ( 531794 )
      Next stop, My computer will be used as a pr0n server without my knowledge, and since it will be (semi-)encrypted, I won't even necessarily know about it.

      You just described the freenet project. [sourceforge.net]
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Funny)

      by halepark ( 578694 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:20PM (#6099376)
      My computer will be used as a pr0n server without my knowledge, and since it will be (semi-)encrypted, I won't even necessarily know about it.

      Girlfriend: "What are these pictures I found on your computer?!?"

      You: "I swear they're not mine! I was just trying to support Kazaa's new P2P business model! Honest!"

    • Re:Great! (Score:2, Funny)

      by minairia ( 608427 )
      Especially great when the FBI comes breaking through door and you have to explain to Mulder and Scully about how you really didn't know about the 5 gigs of Japanese pre-teen toilet porn on your hard-drive ...
    • "Next stop, My computer will be used as a pr0n server without my knowledge"
  • Kazaa Lite (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Malfourmed ( 633699 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:54PM (#6099034) Homepage
    Wonder if any of these features will make it into Kazaa Lite [kazaalite.tk] or if they're designed to shut out Kazaa clones.

    Or if anyone will care.

  • by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:56PM (#6099056) Journal

    Sharman executives say the new system is well worth bundling inside their software, but they say it can be easily removed if users don't wish to participate.

    "Altnet's Peer Points is like the spell checker in Microsoft's Word," said Phil Morle, director of technology for Sharman Networks. "It's an integral part of the program that you can choose to use or not."

    And it's not like Sharman and Brilliant Digital would ever try to pull a fast one on their users, would they?

    GMD

  • BITTorrent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mjmalone ( 677326 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:56PM (#6099058) Homepage
    This model seems like it would apply better to BITTorrent, where companies could provide a link on their website to download a song/movie/whatever. It makes more sense that way, companies could sell content on their website and not have to worry about having the bandwidth available should certain content become extremely popular.
  • by Rahga ( 13479 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:57PM (#6099073) Homepage Journal
    'They can then host files that are authorized for distribution through this network and will receive "Peer Points" that can be redeemed for prizes every time someone uploads a file.'

    One of those banned Shadowbane players already has 768,323,000,000 Peer Points, and plans to redeem them for a Harrier jet [snopes.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:57PM (#6099075)
    Because the companies didn't communicate their plans with Kazaa users, the news sparked fears of "spyware"

    Spyware fears with Kazaa? Unthinkable!
    • If you read KaZaA's "No Spyware" Policy [kazaa.com], you would know that KaZaA contains no spyware. It only contains the following.

      • Content - payment for distribution of Rights Managed content (marked with Gold Icons).
      • Regular banner and pop advertising - within KMD and Kazaa.com (DoubleClick and Cydoor).
      • SaveNow - presents coupons and offers that are related to the websites that you are visiting. SaveNow operates and is managed separately to Kazaa Media Desktop.
      • Sales of products and services - eg. BullGuard, Mat
  • The company is looking to a new patent license for one new revenue source. It has acquired rights to a 1999 patent that Bermeister says covers the technique of identifying files on peer-to-peer networks using a "hash," or digital fingerprint based on the contents of the file. The company will approach virtually all other peer-to-peer services to seek license rights, Bermeister said.

    1) Profit!

    • Christ. Identifying files using a hash!! What a brilliant idea!! And a lucrative revenue source too!!

      The practice of patenting obvious applications of technology and algorithims we use every day has got to stop.

  • Peer Points (Score:3, Funny)

    by graveyhead ( 210996 ) <fletch@fletchMON ... et minus painter> on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:58PM (#6099103)
    Are just like money, but more fun!

    [walks into amusement park, signs everywhere that say "Peer Points not accepted here"]

    Doh!
  • by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:59PM (#6099110) Homepage Journal
    I've got to believe the way this will work is that the users will pay per download and you get the money for it (minus Kaaza's listing fee.) However, why the heck would anyone want to use their bandwidth to allow other people money to download something they've already paid for? If users aren't going to have to pay to download, where's the money comming from? Ads? Sound like a classic 1-2-3 profit scenario to me.
  • Peer to Peer to Peer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eberlin ( 570874 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @02:59PM (#6099114) Homepage
    You know, I always thought that the demise of napster would evolve into the great peer-to-peer era where we can all do filesharing without being tracked.

    Gnutella proved to be a tad "too difficult" and Kazaa took off (taking Morpheus out in the process). Besides userbase, the only other advantage I see in Kazaa is the metadata. Still, though, when someone is in control of the entire network, you're forced to take what they give you (or run kazaa-lite).

    I haven't followed peer-to-peer in quite some time now. Is there someplace that compares all the different services/protocols and rates them for ease of use, etc? I'm currently using gtk-gnutella but would like to know what my other options are. (qtella, eMule, etc?)
    • Well, if you want a great spyware-free Windoze client, Shareaza [shareaza.com] is your ticket. It connects to Gnutella 1 & 2, as well as eMule. I have had better-than-average luck at finding rare files, and often times I download from 100+ sources at once. It also has many other nice features, like saving your search results. I have a list of 7000+ unique ebooks that I keep around. Whenever I want to read a particular book, I just temporarily filter the results to find it, then download it.

      Hope this helps!

      Cli
  • by Giant Ape Skeleton ( 638834 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:00PM (#6099124) Homepage
    After a long season of P2P software developers co-opting corporate resources, it looks like the technology is coming full circle.

    Kazaa's move is essentially an implementation of what BitTorrent's creator alluded to in the recent /. story --

    getting past the "subversiveness" of file sharing and making it work for everyone, including the creators of the shared content.

    Veddy interesting......

  • Keyword: Authorized (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NotoriousQ ( 457789 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:00PM (#6099132) Homepage
    They specifically said "authorized", not "legal". Thus someone like who is currently sharing stuff that is legal in the US AFAIK, but not necesserily elsewhere (foreign movies not for sale in US), I doubt that I will be allowed to join this program.

    To me this sounds like paying independents, and possibly some bigger companies small money for releasing their "preview" files.

    This is not about the users of the network, it is about making the network seem more like a usable market or an advertising medium. Although this is not a bad step, I see no benefit to me, so I am staying on Gnutella, perhaps the only usable network that has no commercialism attached to it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Come on lobster harmonica!
  • by Openadvocate ( 573093 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:03PM (#6099154)
    Now if p2p applications didn't make it hard enough to keep unmetered DSL lines alive, this must be the final touch.
    The question is(as I am not going to install Kazaa and all it's junk on my pc), how much bandwidth would you need to provide in order to make 1$ - power bill.
    And I gues it wouldn't make the job for admins easier at the misc, education institutions. :)
  • by zptdooda ( 28851 ) <{deanpjm} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:04PM (#6099175) Journal
    Even as Altnet launches its ambitious new service, parent Brilliant Digital is struggling on the edge of financial survival. In a federal securities document filed in late May, the company said it had "negative working capital of approximately $4,165"

    How many prize cars does -$4,165 buy?
  • by Silwenae ( 514138 ) * on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:08PM (#6099222) Homepage
    But what about ISP's acceptable use policies? If Kazaa is sending you checks, doesn't this violate almost all Acceptable Use Policies that forbid commerical use of residential broadband access?

    Looking at my Roadrunner account's AUP:
    Unless you have specifically subscribed for commercial grade service, the Road Runner service is provided to you for personal, non-commercial use only. This service cannot be used for any enterprise purpose whatsoever whether or not the enterprise is directed toward making a profit. If it is your intention to use this service for these purposes, please contact your local cable operator to inquire whether commercial Road Runner service programs are available.

    I have to believe hosting Kazaa / Altnet content and getting paid for it *could* get some users in trouble.
    • Hrmm... I wonder if the AUP could be interpreted to forbid online gambling? Does that count as an "enterprise"? I'm playing for fun as well as money, but people would be downloading on P2P for their enjoyment and just coincidentally getting paid for part of it...
      I dunno. Could be a fuzzy issue.

      Kintanon
    • IANAL but I don't think that Roadrunner's AUP would apply in this case since all the "prizes" they are giving away are non-cash. If they were paying you in cash, you'd definitely be in violation, but since they aren't claiming to "pay" you anything, just giving you "points" redeemable for prizes, it's not too different than playing online games where you can win (again, non-cash) prizes.
    • That policy is pretty ridiculous. It makes it illegal to sell items on eBay, for instance. I doubt many other ISPs are that bad.

  • More crappy patents (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sanity ( 1431 ) * on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:12PM (#6099269) Homepage Journal
    The company is looking to a new patent license for one new revenue source. It has acquired rights to a 1999 patent that Bermeister says covers the technique of identifying files on peer-to-peer networks using a "hash," or digital fingerprint based on the contents of the file. The company will approach virtually all other peer-to-peer services to seek license rights, Bermeister said.
    Good luck to them - the actual 1999 patent [uspto.gov] is invalidated by the hashtable [everything2.org] datastructure which has been around for decades, and their 2002 patent [uspto.gov] is clearly nullified by the Content Hash Key first introduced in Freenet in 2001 (and I am sure earlier prior art exists too but Freenet, being a P2P network, is more on-point).
    • It seems that the second patent was also filed in 1999 so Freenet's CHK might not constitute prior-art after all, however suitable prior art isn't hard to find, for example - 5 minutes of searching revealed this [nec.com] 1997 paper.
  • History Repeats... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mraymer ( 516227 ) <mraymer@nOSpAm.centurytel.net> on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:12PM (#6099271) Homepage Journal
    The article also mentions something about getting rid of unauthorized files...

    By unauthorized I assume they mean copyrighted/illegal files. I think it's also safe to assume that while Kazaa has legal uses, it's primary use is trading copyrighted material. If this material is removed for non-paying users, we'll see a dramatic drops in the number of users.

    As has happened in the past, with Napster for example, once one peer-to-peer program removes copyrighted files, there is a mass migration to new, alternative peer-to-peer system that does allow it.

    As others have mentioned, I hope that the least Kazaa will do for paying customers is remove all the spyware.

  • by Lebrun ( 655496 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:15PM (#6099306)

    Just keep using Kazaa Lite [k-lite.tk], that is, until they find a way to disable access for non-authorized versions, and we all end up with "only" eMule and the other networks, which will probably include a modified version of WASTE in the near future.

    • I gave up on Kazaa Lite, when 99% of the files I request are "More Sources Needed", with the remaining 1% transferring slower than a 300 baud modem.

      I just tried WinMX this weekend, and I had an amazing success rate with hard-to-find MP3s. All I have to do is wait in line, AND it finds more sources every x minutes automagically.
      • WinMX? Please. WinMX is going the way of the dinosaur; it has tremendously long queues, it's UI is probably the worst I've ever seen, and it's basically turned into a file TRADING network instead of a file SHARING network. I suggest you check out Shareaza [shareaza.com] instead :P It has BitTorrent & eDonkey support.
  • If this really succeeds (I doubt it) are the ISPs going to sit and see people making money of the bandwitdth they provide? They will start charging per byte and that will offset what kazaa pays you.
  • Definitions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:18PM (#6099342)
    Sharman executives say the new system is well worth bundling inside their software, but they say it can be easily removed if users don't wish to participate.

    "Altnet's Peer Points is like the spell checker in Microsoft's Word," said Phil Morle, director of technology for Sharman Networks. "It's an integral part of the program that you can choose to use or not."


    easily removed and integral part are mutually exclusive. Who are they trying to BS?

    Getting paid for using my PC resources (bandwidth and HD space)? I don't think so. Have any of these schemes worked in the past?
    Paid for browsing
    Paid for viewing ads/click-thru's
    Paid for buying 'Flooz'?

    Yeah, right. All down the tubes, just like this will.

    Throw in Brilliant's spyware track record, and this is a non-starter.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:22PM (#6099409)
    between peer points and actual items. I think any likelihood of success depends on how many points it takes to get something good. If it's like 10,000 points (a point per MB downloaded) to get a pen, most people won't bother.

    Another thing that Kazaa may remember that sometimes people may have more altruistic motives. Take for example Seti@home. Millions of people allow SETI to use their computers to analyze data signals for no charge. It might a little more successful if Kazaa allows points to be donated to charities at a higher rate.

    Without more details it's hard to say how this system will really work.

  • The article also mentions something about getting rid of unauthorized files, but is unclear on when and how.

    Maybe they will have some sort of amnesty whereby you can upload all of your unauthorized files to the **AA, no questions asked.

    There's rumored to be an free service in the works that makes this even easier: you just share out your hard drives to the **AA and they'll take care of the housecleaning for you.
  • by Ride-My-Rocket ( 96935 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:50PM (#6099733) Homepage
    The rewards will range from free access to paid content to sweepstakes entries toward cars and big-ticket cash prizes. The value of the prizes will depend on how many customers Altnet can attract and how much the company can persuade them to offer.

    Riiiiight. Thanks but no thanks -- earning access to paid content and the possibility of winning cash prizes isn't enough of a reason to allow BDE to make money using MY hardware and MY connection, whilst potentially affecting the stability of my system. Howzabout I keep on using Kazaa Lite [hccnet.nl] instead?
  • How long.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gambit3 ( 463693 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @03:51PM (#6099758) Homepage Journal


    so, how long do you think it takes before your ISP alters its TOS to make it illegal for you to use your PC for this?
  • by Psychor ( 603391 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @04:03PM (#6099928) Homepage
    I've always found Kazaa slightly disturbing, so I invented the following conspiracy theories about it, using the tried and tested research method of wild conjecture: - 1) Most of the files on Kazaa aren't really transfered peer to peer - there's a huge central repository somewhere of horrible 128kbps quality mp3s full of noise. The noise makes these files sufficiently different from the original songs that Sharman doesn't have to license them. This is why any poor quality songs start downloading instantly, whereas you have to wait approximately forever to find any good quality material. 2) Sharman also regularly publishes versions of it's other popular software package 'Kazaa Lite'. This contains just as much Spyware as standard Kazaa, but it's special 'stealth' Spyware custom written by Sharman. It also crashes randomly. 3) Sharman also publishes 'Diet Kazaa'. This contains twice as much Spyware as either 'Kazaa' or 'Kazaa Lite', and crashes twice as often. However, as a reward, you get a special button that looks like Britney Spears. 4) Any version of Kazaa uses your idle bandwidth and processor power to research dangerous biological toxins and military hardware for the US Department of Defense. Coming soon - the Sharman Tank. 5) Sharman logs all copyrighted files shared over their network, and the users sharing them, so that if they are ever short on money, they can sell the list to the **AA. 6) Sharman is run by a group of aliens, from their spaceship. This is how the company is able to move so swiftly between countries each time legal action threatens.
  • Now I get to get paid for distributing looped mp3s instead of just doing it for the fun of it!
  • Ahem (Score:3, Funny)

    by methangel ( 191461 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @04:59PM (#6100459)
    Yeah, so people get paid to host files that are legit and authorized...this is excellent! I have no fewer than 4 dusty old machines that want to be paid to distribute! With that said, my regularly used machine can continue sharing the 'fun' stuff.

    Is the verification for the user sharing IP based? If so, I know for a fact that Verizon doles out IPs to anyone on a local network that wants one.
  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Monday June 02, 2003 @05:47PM (#6100897)
    Crime DOES pay!
  • Does Madonna and the RIAA start paying me to share her #1 smash hit single "What the Fuck do You Think You're Doing?!?"?

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -- Thomas Edison

Working...