It's happened folks. Kazaa has joined the ranks of Napster and Pirate Bay as a legit paid music download service. The deal in the US is $20 per month for unlimited music downloads. WMA format. Will it fly?
new Kazaa, to be announced on Tuesday, will initially only be available
to people in the United States due to licensing issues but Bermeister
said he was expecting it to be available to Australians within six
"In the US, customers pay $US20 a month and can download as many songs as they like.
have been enamoured with the ability to rebel and break through and get
stuff for free, but I think sentiment is changing and people are going
to shift towards a quality [legal] product," Bermeister said in a phone
I guess time will tell. I'm not convinced the new Kazaa is going to be able to take much market share from iTunes (the WMA format won't help). But then, there may be additional functionality. Good luck Kevin.
The US Supreme Court ruled on Friday that file sharing companies are responsible for what users do with their software.
Michael McGuire, from analyst firm GartnerG2, said: "It's something of a surprise. It will be interesting to see how record labels respond. It could be argued that these peer-to-peer services were the most efficient way to deliver rich media."
The decision is likely to impact technology companies that develop gadgets or devices which enable people to enjoy media on the move.
"If strictly interpreted the ruling means that these hi-tech firms will have to try to predict the ways people can use these devices to pirate copyrighted media and install controls to stop this infringement." Source: BBC.
The ruling could also prompt a re-drafting of copyright laws by the US Congress.
It started on Friday morning... I arrived at work to hear that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (San Fran) had validated a previous ruling: P2P software products Morpheus, Grokster and now Kazaaare legal. A big defeat for the major record labels and Hollywood studios. A fantastic win for us! Innovative David kicked Goliath's outdated arse again.
Judge Sidney R. Thomas summed up the benefits of P2P wonderfully "The technology has numerous other uses (besides illegal ones), significantly reducing the distribution costs of public domain and permissively shared art and speech, as well as reducing the centralized control of that distribution."
He concluded his report by saying "We live in a quicksilver technological environment with courts ill-suited to fix the flow of Internet innovation. The introduction of new technology is always disruptive of old markets, and particularly to those copyright owners whose works are sold through well-established distribution mechanisms. Yet, history has shown that time and market forces often provide equilibrium in balancing interests, whether the new technology be a player piano, a copier, a tape recorder, a video recorder, a personal computer, a karaoke machine or an MP3 player."
There are heaps of articles if you want to read more: e.g. CNet News or BBC.
We coincidentally had a harbour cruise planned for Friday afternoon so we celebrated doubly! Check out the pics here.
I remained (just) sober enough to make my flight to Melbourne. Tammy & I stayed in her friend's executive apartment on Chapel Street (Australia's best known street for womens clothes shops ...yep, I came back with more bags & less $ :)
Then we went to the National Gallery & saw the finest collection of French Impressionist paintings ever to come to Australia. We took the audio tour via headset. The highlight was hearing Van Gogh's letter to his sister, in which he described the scene and how he longed to paint the stars as I absorbed the result, 'Starry night over the Rhone'. They say Impressionists paint the sensation rather than reality. I found myself absorbed in the sensation of several paintings that I hadn't liked at all at first. Amazing. The added dimension of audio certainly added to the impression.
I also caught up with my long-lost friend Sue, her partner Terry & their two young kids. Sue, it was SO great to see you!!
2. Copyright feud continues (21st February, 2004)
"The copyright fight between the record industry and Sharman Networks, owner of popular file-swapping software Kazaa, continued in the NSW Federal Court on Friday. Judge Murray Wilcox said he may not have been told the full story by the record industry when he allowed them to search the premises of Sharman, which wants the orders set aside on grounds the industry failed to tell the judge of a similar copyright lawsuit in the US. The industry contests this. Justice Wilcox's decision is expected in the first week of March." Fiona Buffini.
One up side was the Los Angeles Times deemed the occasion important enough to send a staff reporter, Jon Healey - in my opinion one of the worlds best technology journo's, & I got to meet him on Monday. :) I haven't read his article yet.
My colleagues and I are on page 3 of the Sydney Morning Herald today. There's a big colour picture of us.
I'm laughing, holding a bottle of champagne. The headline reads: A site for sore ears: how one small office beat the world. Kazaa is the most searched for term on the internet in 2003 according to both Yahoo! and Lycos search engines. View online.
Yahoo!'s other top searches were:
2. Harry Potter
3. American Idol
4. Britney Spears
5. 50 Cent
Kazaa also had some great early Christmas news:
- 19th Dec - The Dutch Supreme Court ruled that Kazaa is not responsible for the potentially infringing actions of its users. This victory sets the precedent about the legality of peer-to-peer technology across the European Union, and around the world.
- 23rd Dec - 35 producers in the world's most prolific film center (Bollywood) have signed a deal to sell their movies using Kazaa.