Original KaZaA BV crushed, Morpheus to follow, KaZaA network continues

The KaZaA network is alive and well, but the original KaZaA BV in Holland has collapsed under the financial pressure of the lawsuits being brought by seven Hollywood studios and five major record labels. “It cannot afford to respond to the multitude of motions, pleadings, discovery requests and letters that plaintiffs drop on its doorstep on a daily basis,” the firm said.

Streamcast Networks Inc., operators of Morpheus and another defendant in the case, may be conceding as well, also citing the legal bills: “It would be an unfortunate procedural triumph of a band of enormously powerful and wealthy companies, arising purely from their power and entirely unrelated to the substantive issues in the case.”

The present KaZaA network, owned by Sharman Networks and run from Australia, operates as normal.

Further, it turns out that the FastTrack file-sharing technology developed by KaZaA BV is being licensed by the founders – not the company itself – to Brilliant Digital for use in the Altnet ad trojan that ships with KaZaA. “They’re playing an international shell game, trying to make a mockery of the judicial process,” complains Matt Oppenheim, senior vice president for the RIAA.

Meanwhile, Altnet have issued a press release detailing how the ad trojan that ships with KaZaA offers to leech your bandwidth and implement Microsoft’s Digital Rights Management technology. In addition, its TopSearch engine will prioritise sponsored links in P2P network searches.

“Our goal is to create a more efficient Internet,” says Kevin Bermeister, president and CEO of Altnet. Indeed.

2 thoughts on “Original KaZaA BV crushed, Morpheus to follow, KaZaA network continues

  1. Here it is, straight from my inbox:

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ben Butler
    To: kelly@therosegrp.com
    Sent: 5/23/02 3:45 AM
    Subject: urgent – kazaa folding story – comment?

    This story:

    says KaZaA is folding – the headline is misleading, as they’re referring
    the Dutch firm.

    I have a few questions:

    1. Does this affect Sharman Networks in any way?

    We don’t believe this news from KaZaA BV will have any impact on Sharman

    2. What about connectivity?

    Sharman Networks has been assured of a continuing license for Fasttrack.

    3. What’s Sharman’s response to this rather serious allegation, from the
    Gate story:

    Lawyers for the seven major Hollywood studios and five major record
    companies and music publishers said Kazaa is playing a corporate “shell
    game” to dodge responsibility.

    I don’t represent KaZaA BV only SHarman NEtworks, I can not begin to speark
    for KaZaA BV or guess at their motivation. (We learned about this from the
    LA TImes, who was breaking the story.)

    They contend that Kazaa’s two founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus
    continue to be involved in the operation of the Web site…

    THe plantiffs in the lawsuit seem to want to make this point. Niklas and
    Janus are involved in Fasttrack, and Sharman licenses FastTrack for KMD.

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