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Jeff Watkins
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Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Two Can Play That Game

Instead of going out like Napster, Kazaa fights back!

I found this article through Relevant's newsletter—Kazaa turns tables on record labels, from MSNBC.

Apparently, Kazaa (Sharman Networks Ltd.) is now suing a few entertainment groups for, get this, copyright infringement. Basically, mimicking the exact castigation the Record Industry Association of America has been laying on Kazaa's P-2-P users for months.

"Sharman said the companies used Kazaa Lite, an ad-less replica of its software, to get onto the network. The lawsuit also claims efforts to combat piracy on Kazaa violated terms for using the network."

The reasoning behind the RIAA? To play dirty? Hardly. It's to be in pursuit of those people (or thieves?) who’ve been file swapping media via their computers. Now that these music and movie companies are getting it back, it doesn't seem like such a fun game to start? Yet, the industry doesn't think too highly of Kazaa's attempt to re-screw the companies:

"The Recording Industry Association of America called Sharman’s 'newfound admiration for the importance of copyright law' ironic and 'self-serving.'"

Which is a really good point, isn't it? If Kazaa has been furnishing an outlet capable of enabling everyday folk to generate acts of piracy with such neophyte ease, why would they go and try to piss off the RIAA even more? Fans of the service think the lawsuit is great, but doesn't it seem like The Man will go after Kazaa even harder?

You know that Napster will eventually be around again (you'll just have to pay this time). Thus, Kazaa might only end up having to pay some fines and could still operate and maintain their software, if they would be sensible. But, now because of this lawsuit, I would suppose that receptivity is not a trait of theirs. It seems like Kazaa is just digging themselves into a deeper hole than they were already in. And the RIAA wants to bury them in that hole, permanently!

Read the whole story here @ MSNBC News.

posted by Jeff Watkins at 12:20 AM


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