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Court Docs Reveal Kazaa Logging User Downloads 514

Posted by timothy
Dan Warne writes "The most explosive documents in the ongoing Kazaa court case have emerged today, including logs of discussions between parent company Sharman and the Estonian developer of the Kazaa Media Desktop. They include extraordinary admissions like: "Reporting will make Kazaa look like spyware, as soon as it becomes evident we record downloads and playbacks, users will flee to competitive networks" and then "One can argue that we have knowledge of copyrighted material being downloaded in our network and have to install filters. If we are reporting [gold] files, then technically we could do the same for every file." Finally, "RIAA [could] collect the IP addresses for everyone who has searched for or downloaded that file." Despite the Kazaa developer's concerns over these issues, Kazaa went ahead with the logging." (More below.)

Warne continues "APC Magazine journalist Garth Montgomery, who has covered every day of the trial in the Australian Federal Court, says: "In a nutshell, this has got to rate as the most explosive document revealed. It makes it damn near impossible to maintain the separation theory that Sharman and Altnet rely on in terms of business independence and technical infrastructure. The control they exercise over the system is complete." Montgomery has also scanned in all the documents and made them available in PDF format, including the confidential Kazaa purchase contract and technical specifications for the Kazaa Media Desktop."

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Court Docs Reveal Kazaa Logging User Downloads

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  • WOW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by castlec (546341) <.castlec. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:31AM (#11595124)
    It looks like bye-bye kazaa. It will soon join Napster (The real one, not roxio).
    • use earth station 5 (Score:4, Informative)

      by leuk_he (194174) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:17AM (#11595260) Homepage Journal
      They use encryption and promise you will be anonymous. "ES5 hides your IP address while you are uploading and downloading files"

      pS, ;)
    • Re:WOW (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cryogenes (324121)
      It looks like bye-bye kazaa. It will soon join Napster (The real one, not roxio)

      Both of them, let's hope.
    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Interesting)

      by badasscat (563442) <[basscadet75] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:10AM (#11595590)
      It looks like bye-bye kazaa.

      And really, good riddance. If they're logging all their users' downloads, installing all kinds of adware, spyware, and other crapware on your systems (which they also admitted in court documents), and just generally acting not only as a bad corporate citizen but also an evil software developer in terms of their own users' interests, then this is most definitely not a company we need in existence in the world.

      Whether you're for or against P2P in general (I'm for it), the world will be better off with Kazaa completely out of the picture.
    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Deathlizard (115856) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:19AM (#11595629) Homepage Journal
      If these prove to be legit, and Kazaa has to cough up logs, then the fun is over.

      Frankly, Good for them. I never trusted Kazaa one second. There was something about it that I didn't like but could never really pinpoint on what it was outside of spyware infestation. Personally I was a ED2K fan until leeching made the devs put Anti-leeching programming into ED2K. Now all the ED2K clients are so stingy it takes days to get a file started.

      I wonder how far back the logs go. With data like that the RIAA/MPAA could have a field day suing users.
      • Re:WOW (Score:5, Funny)

        by G-Licious! (822746) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:59AM (#11595868) Homepage

        I wonder how far back the logs go. With data like that the RIAA/MPAA could have a field day suing users.

        I wonder how often they'll sue 127.0.0.1.

  • Once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by laughingcoyote (762272) <barghesthowl.excite@com> on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:32AM (#11595127) Journal

    ...I am reminded of why I use a reputable, private bittorrent server and alternative (read: under-the-radar) means of P2P. Hasn't this been suspected about Kazaa for quite some time?

    • Re:Once again... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wheatwilliams (605974)
      You use a "reputable" service that facilitates your stealing other peoples' property?

      That's an oxymoron.

      If you trade pirated media on the service, then neither you nor it are "reputable", by definition.
      • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by taxevader (612422) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:24AM (#11595428)
        Your post should be mentioned whenever there is debate on the meaning of 'jumping to conclusions'. It defines it perfectly.

        Where did he post anything about stealing peoples property? You're as bad as the xxIA.. p2p is evil, its STEALING, which even in the case of piracy (of which the parents post in NOT talking about) is not stealing.. its copyright infringement.

        p2p can be used for many legitimate purposes.

        • You missed one... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ari_j (90255)
          You forgot to refute the part of his logic that assumes that one disreputable user makes the entire service disreputable. Some people use Slashdot to post "Gaynigger" trolls - does that make Slashdot a disreputable, homophobic, racist website? How about people who use Linux to develop Internet worms - does that make Linux a disreputable kernel?

          For a group of people supposedly at least remotely qualified to perform scientific analysis, there is a whole hell of a lot of disregard for any sense of logic h
        • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bonch (38532) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:01PM (#11597670)

          You're as bad as the xxIA.

          People demonize the RIAA in order to remove the guilt they feel and paint someone else as the bad guy doing wrong in order to justify their actions.

          p2p can be used for many legitimate purposes.

          But 99% of the time, it's not.

          Why would someone on a P2P network worry about downloads being logged by the servers if they weren't trading anything illegal? Come on, we're not stupid. I wouldn't give a crap if some Kazaa server recorded that I shared Slackware 10.1. Did you know--gasp--Slashdot is logging your actions on its site right now? Horrors!
          • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Informative)

            by Yartrebo (690383)
            Hmm, I wonder how it sounds reversed?

            the RIAA demonizes people in order to remove the guilt they feel and paint other people as the bad guys doing wrong in order to justify their actions.

            That makes much more sense now, as, after all, file sharing probably would be legal if it wasn't for the lobbying efforts of the above said corporations, and the media companies are racketeers.
          • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Interesting)

            by antic (29198)
            I read Mark Cuban's take on this yesterday, where he suggests that the majority of P2P music trading is legal. He suggested that if you graphed file downloaded vs download count, and imagine the results as something of a bell curve, you'd see significant volume (obviously) in the most popular music. However, he suggested (and I think there could be some merit to it) that the sheer number of legal tracks would extend the tail of the curve. i.e., there might be a million downloads of a Britney Spears song. Bu
          • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mrchaotica (681592)
            I wouldn't give a crap if some Kazaa server recorded that I shared Slackware 10.1.
            I would, if they didn't tell me they were going to do it before hand.
        • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stonedonkey (416096)
          Where did he post anything about stealing peoples property? You're as bad as the xxIA.. p2p is evil, its STEALING, which even in the case of piracy (of which the parents post in NOT talking about) is not stealing.. its copyright infringement.

          p2p can be used for many legitimate purposes.


          Oh, quit it. Debating for hair-splitting's sake can be a fun mental exercise, but come on. The majority of the P2P/IRC/Usenet community is not using these file sharing capabilities to trade Grandma's recipe for Alaskan ups
      • by isorox (205688) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:33AM (#11595451) Homepage Journal
        If you trade pirated media on the service, then neither you nor it are "reputable"

        What? Like Gold Dubloons and Pieces of Eight?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's not an oxymoron. Perhaps you need to look up the word "reputable". I will help: it means having a good reputation, being honorable.

        If this underground bittorrent service has both a good reputation and it is honorable (ie: they are not screwing their users), it is reputable. It doesn't matter that you don't like what they are doing, or that it is illegal.

        I'll thank you to stop pissing on my language and twisting it for your own purposes. I'm having enough bloody trouble with marketroids making t
      • by NardofDoom (821951) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:50AM (#11595819)
        Excuse me, but I pay my own electric bill, those electrons are fully owned by me.
        • Well, actually.. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by raehl (609729)
          If you stopped paying your bill, you'd still own the electros, it'd just be harder to get them to move.
  • Woah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jim_Callahan (831353) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:33AM (#11595135)
    You mean that when I use an electronic network to transfer information, that information travels in orderly patterns that can be tracked? What happenned to the magical fairy of the internet that made all things miraculously anonymous?(/sarcasm)
    • There's a difference between information being possible to track if you know about it at the time it is transmitted and are waiting to intercept it (which is the case with most Internet transfers) and a service provider keeping a log of what you access without telling you. The latter is far more serious, and possibly a violation of data retention laws in many countries, whereas the former is just an abstract capability that you pretty much have to live with. Or use freenet, although even that isn't perfec
  • I could care less (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dancin_Santa (265275) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:33AM (#11595136) Journal
    Kazaa has always been the seamy underbelly of the internet. While Napster at least had a little swagger as the slick pirate software, Kazaa has been plagued from the start with spyware and other malware.

    Good riddance.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You mean "I couldn't care less", meaning how much you care is already so miniscule (or zero) that it is impossible to care less. "I could care less", on the other hand, means you care a lot, or at least enough for it to be possible to care less than you do.
  • open source (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jeif1k (809151) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:34AM (#11595139)
    I think stuff like that shows you why closed source software can't be trusted. I bet bigger companies do similar sorts of things as well, as part of their "software updates" and all the other network traffic they generate.
    • Re:open source (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moskie (620227) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:43AM (#11595316)
      How does Kazaa being closed source make a difference here? Kazaa was tracking requests/downloads server-side... which means, I would think, that there isn't neccessarily any logging going on in the client.

      It could have been completely open source, and Kazaa could still keep track off all the requests that your client made.
  • They are... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pmc (40532) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:34AM (#11595140) Homepage
    ... so dead.

    And stupid. They knew that they were walking a very narrow path with respect to legality. They had to be like Caesar's Wife - not only pure but seen to be pure. But instead they took their behaviour well over the line into things that they knew were illegal. And then recorded the fact that they were doing it.

    Breathtaking.
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:16AM (#11595254) Journal
      Well, the recording part is the part that's really sad. It's such massive lack of clue, it's... well, come to think of it, probably standard for management.

      And wth is with all these companies and collecting data about their users? Everyone must track you, profile you, and make you go through an intrusive registration just to (for example) download a patch to a product you've bought.

      Now I _know_ that you're not really anonymous on the Internet, they can collect a ton of data about you, bla, bla, bla, Sure, they _can_. But do they even have a _legitimate_ use for that data? I.e., one that doesn't boil down to "we can sell the list to spammers later."

      Most of the collected data nowadays (and again I don't only mean Kazaa) is plain useless for anything even resembling an aggregate statistic.

      E.g., in Kazaa's case can they even do an automated aggregate statistic over the filenames? How? There must be hundreds of different ways to write the same filename, so good luck telling whether more people download Britney Spears or Eminem. Or which genre do people download more. And even if (ad absurdum) they could get an aggregate statistic, what would they do with that data?

      E.g., in the case of some companies' intrusive registration forms and out-of-hand data collection, wth are they gonna do with such pieces of trivia as my house number or telephone number? _How_ does one use that in an agregate statistic?

      I mean, "How many people bought our product in Europe vs USA?" is a statistic. "How many people with an even house number bought our product?" is at most useless trivia. There is _no_ useful information in there.

      Dunno, reminds me of dogs chasing a car. They have no idea what they'd do with it if they caught one, but they just must do it anyway.

      Sad.
      • by hrieke (126185) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:28AM (#11595670) Homepage
        Just to point out that in the business world, there are no completely useless stats. I keep a DB at work called LDLS - Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics - which is used by every program that I write to track down all the little odds and ends that management wants to track. (They told me to create a metrics DB, I selected the name.)

        On spelling, you can use a soundex function to reduce all to simular sounding groupings.

        Collection of personal information like house number or telephone number- these can be mapped back to a phycial real-world location and then shown with other statitical information.

        Try this out- to go Google and enter in your home phone number ( (xxx)-xxx-xxxx format ) and watch Google return your home address, and then be able to map near by businesses.

        And since you can break things down by areas, and know what is being viewed / downloaded where, that information has value to others trying to sell stuff to you- Sherman networks knows that you liked SNL with Ashly Simpson- so in theory they could sell your name / address to companies that sell SNL videos and to record companies that produce crappy singers. Plus I'm sure Ms. Simpson would love to know that she's even more famous for just being famous.

        Go read up on data mining sometime.
        • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Monday February 07, 2005 @09:50AM (#11596220)
          Try this out- to go Google and enter in your home phone number ( (xxx)-xxx-xxxx format ) and watch Google return your home address, and then be able to map near by businesses.

          You can remove [googleguide.com] your phone number from that feature.

          "If you wish to remove your listing from Google's PhoneBook, complete the name removal form, which you can find at Name Removal [google.com] or by searching for [ remove phone number Google ].

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:36AM (#11595145) Homepage Journal
    These people are stupid. Not only do they discuss matters as whether they're arguably criminal conspirators / facilitators -- but they do so in on the record documents, as opposed to quiet chats in the cafeteria.

    That's Richard-Nixon-tastic.
    • by miu (626917)
      OT, but Nixon at least had a noble (and self aggrandizing) reason to set up recordings in the oval office, with the expectation that the recordings themselves would be accessed only after everyone involved was long dead.
  • So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by calyptos (752073) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:36AM (#11595146) Homepage
    So does this mean that they can get the logs and go after people who have illegal downloaded media?
    • by anti-NAT (709310) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:42AM (#11595164) Homepage

      Other contries to consider are Mexico and Argentina.

    • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PhotoBoy (684898)
      If you're not in the USA the RIAA probably won't care.

      I'd be surprised if Kazaa kept logs for more than a few months, the size of the data would be vast. They probably overwrote the logs after they'd got what they needed from them. I suspect the logging was only so they could create stats for each file downloaded to see how well files were spreading.
    • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

      -Likely- not, the general consensus, to my knowledge, is that a filename is not enough grounds to sue-the company suing must prove -content-. I doubt the Kazaa logs contain a bitprint of each file, likely just an IP address and filename.

      Of course, that wouldn't stop them assembling a "people to watch" list-but in reality, I imagine that the **AA's have bots that host on Kazaa and every similar and compile such a list from every IP that comes through 'em. It would be trivial to write such a thing.

      But as

    • IANAL but these logs would probably not be accepted as legally obtained evidence; I think it should be possible to get a court order for the destruction of these logs.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:12AM (#11595392) Journal
      Don't know officer, I have no idea what is on my HDD, full of junk, a million and one kids use the PC, Brittney who? ...hey stop unplugging my machines, evidence what fucking evidence, no I'm not cussing at YOU, hey lettme go, owww that hurts man, resisting arrest..."watch you head sir"...what the Fu****POW***zzzzz.

      Just one more excuse to bash the door down.

      Disclaimer: Cops are generally good people, in fact I have relatives who are cops.
      • by miu (626917)
        Disclaimer: Cops are generally good people, in fact I have relatives who are cops.

        Cops are often nice people, but the job requires that they be a prick - they even take courses in it.

    • Re:So... (Score:2, Informative)

      by jon_oner (753207)
      I believe -please someone correct me if I'm wrong- that downloading copyrignted material is not illegal per se. What is punishable by law is "distributing" copyrighted material.
      So if you have been uploading music or movies, you broke the law and now they have proof (the logs).
  • by dj42 (765300) * on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:37AM (#11595149) Journal
    Creepy stuff. Not that the logs are all the useful -- considering just how many people and IPs will be in them. That's like getting a list of 5 million people... you can't send them all to jail and/or fine them. Or... can they?
    • IANAL - If you do try to sue people based on those logs, isn't that officially invasion of privacy? Plus, 5 million lawsuits is a helluvalot to pay for. In a democracy, laws (should) reflect what everyone wants, which is appearantly free music. It might make it slightly hairy road to follow, trying to sue all those copying bastards, and I'm sure the RIAA knows it. I'm also sure they know not all Kazaa users are American.
  • I'm not surprised (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Televisor (827008)
    They've been walking a tightrope for years....looked like it just snapped.
  • They had it coming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pan T. Hose (707794) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:45AM (#11595174) Homepage Journal
    I was assisting in installing KazaA once. It was like: "What do you think," the librarian asked me. "According to this EULA they could log our downloads," I said. "So? Is it good or is it bad?" (She's so cute!) "Bad. I do not authorise it. Remove it, add to the black list, never bother me again." Now, if anyone is screaming bloody murder because a program does something that was explained explicite or implicite during the installation, one is not the brightest individual under the Sun if you ask me.
    • by ceeam (39911)
      Oh, brother, if only we could have a law passed that every "license agreement" is void and null if it exceeds, say, 500 characters of text, wouldn't world be a slightly better place?
    • Anything more than a screenfull of plain english is a waste of time and the people who write the ELUA's that suck your data prey on this fact. They really want to help you so they burry it in a one-click contract more complicated than a housing loan. Not every granny owns a geek to interpret ELUA's for her.

      As for TFA my tin hat says this could be some sort of "mutual destruct" attempt, there could be some very interesting names and companies in the mountain of logs.
  • by vought (160908) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:50AM (#11595185)
    Despite the Kazaa developer's concerns over these issues, Kazaa went ahead with the logging.


    News Flash!

    Management may at times ignore developer concerns, although developers can have insight into the customer base not obvious to management.

    It's been that way at every company I've worked at...and usually ended up in tears.

    Tears for customer support, that is.

    Film at 11.

  • Seriously only internet newbies, grandmas & grandpas installed the Kazza Media Desktop. All other installed Kazza Lite (No Adware!) or eDonkey.

    Later all eDonkey [edonkey2000.com] users switched to Overnet [overnet.com] and later on to eMule [emule-project.net] and BitTorrent [bitconjurer.org]

    An open source P2P application is more safe in use than a closed source application because clever people can read and understand the code.

    Oh I forgot:
    1) Idea
    2-6) see above
    7) ???
    8) No Profit
    9) Sued by RIAA/MPAA...
    • by andyr (78903) <andyr@wizzy.com> on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:46AM (#11595322) Homepage Journal
      only internet newbies, grandmas & grandpas installed the Kazza Media Desktop. All other installed Kazza Lite

      The server still tracks your downloads.

    • Maybe we need a new cliche:

      i) Download file sharing software
      ii) Share files copyrighted by RIAA/MPAA members
      iii) ???
      iv) Prison!
    • Seriously only internet newbies, grandmas & grandpas installed the Kazza Media Desktop. All other installed Kazza Lite (No Adware!) or eDonkey.

      Newsflash - the groups of people that you've named account for the vast majority of users on the Internet, explaining why Kazaa was (is?) the number 1 p2p network.

      Later all eDonkey users switched to Overnet and later on to eMule and BitTorrent

      I don't know anything about eMule/Overnet but I assume they're traditional p2p software, the same as BitTorrent -

  • I wonder... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:55AM (#11595198)
    ...if other "reputable" download services like soulseek are up to the same wrongdoings as kazaa. How can anyone know for sure?
  • Just KMD? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lachlan76 (770870) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:06AM (#11595224)
    Is it just KaZaa Media Desktop that is affected by this, or is it done on the server end, thereby logging downloads by ALL clients, such as giFT-Fastrack?
    • Re:Just KMD? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by generationxyu (630468)
      Well, it's an interesting question. I gather (and this is just my understanding, correct me if you know more about FT) that FastTrack (the network Kazaa runs on) works generally in the same way that Gnutella works. Each node keeps information about other nodes it knows about. So I launch a Fasttrack client for the first time, and it comes with a list, hopefully a long one, of IPs and possibly ports to try. Some of these may be dead, some may be alive. One way that I understand FT varies from Gnutella i
  • by flopsy mopsalon (635863) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:11AM (#11595236)
    What strikes me as remarkable is that anyone thinks so-called "lawsuits" of this nature will in any way stem the Niagra-like flow of files being shared on computer networks.

    As with the United States' ill-fated experiment with "Prohibition" back in the 1930s or whenever it was, attempts to pressure a legitimate society-wide demand with artifical "legal" constraints simple result in a Newtonian counterforce of equal strength

    Mark these words it is only a matter of time before the RIAA and company unleash one legal sully too many and the citizenry responds with clandestine acts of violence and possibly even people and/or animals.

    It is clear that the individuals behind Kazaa are just a bunch of crooks trying to get rich of bootlegged goods, but so were the rum-runners of yore, and in the end, after much bloodshed and suffering , it was seen that rum could indeed be run legally with out the "sky", as it were, "falling". Let us hope those in power today come to a similar realization soon.
    • by phaze3000 (204500) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:18AM (#11595409) Homepage
      What strikes me as remarkable is that anyone thinks so-called "wars on drugs" of this nature will in any way stem the Niagra-like flow of narcotics.

      As with the United States' ill-fated experiment with "Prohibition" back in the 1930s or whenever it was, attempts to pressure a legitimate society-wide demand with artifical "legal" constraints simple result in a Newtonian counterforce of equal strength.

      History has shown us that the government and their backers are quite prepared to fight battles they have no hope of winning.

    • What strikes me as remarkable is that anyone thinks so-called "lawsuits" of this nature will in any way stem the Niagra-like flow of files being shared on computer networks.

      Wow. I'm not actually sure whether you meant Niagara or Viagra. Congratulations. :)
  • logged IP addresses (Score:4, Informative)

    by mincognito (839071) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:13AM (#11595242)
    If you read the article carefully, unlike the submitter, you will find that gold files (and all searches?) were logged while 'illegal' downloads *could* have been logged. But the article is very vague. Where are those scanned documents??
  • Glad... (Score:5, Funny)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:16AM (#11595256) Homepage Journal
    Glad I only use Kazaa for porn!

    Thats my story and I'm sticking with it. (That was a bad pun...)
    • Re:Glad... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lord_Dweomer (648696)
      Interesting comment. You do realize porn is 99.9% of the time just as copyrighted as every thing else people are getting sued for right?

      The difference is, porn makers are once again at the forefront of technology and realize "hey, this is what people want, we can't fight them, lets find out some way to make money off of it".

      So what happens? You get tons of free porn off Kazaa and the TGP sites, and they manage to get plenty of people to actually pay for those sites to make them money. Especially with the

  • Out of Context (Score:4, Insightful)

    by N8F8 (4562) on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:18AM (#11595262)
    Folks, lelieve it when you see it. Make sure to read the caveat at the bottom of the page: Folks, take these ramblings as the virtually unedited observations from each day of the Kazaa trial. At best, it's anti journalism. The other side is going to misconsture everything in their favor and present it that way to be as damaging as possible.
  • by matthew.thompson (44814) <<matt> <at> <actuality.co.uk>> on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:23AM (#11595277) Journal
    IF this sort of action was taken at KaZaa what decisions of a similar nature are being taken at Skype?

    I know that I use it for personal calls with no inherrent value but there are compaanies who are starting to use it to cut inter-office and employee communications bills - they could very easily be concerned about this.
    • Skype is by the guy who created the fast-track network. He sold it to Sherman Networks (was there an intermediate?) who added all the spyware/adware/logging. This is Sherman Networks, not the devs of Skype. I.E. I very much doubt that these actions are being taken at skype.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:28AM (#11595285)
    I've had enough of /. lately, whats with the unchecked facts? I know it's claimed that its up to the users in comments to identify this, but when the site constantly posts such trashy and unsubstantiated nonsenese it's hard to keep the faith.

    For example, they're not actually logging file downloads, nor what you do. All they acknowledged is that they do this for Altnet, which you must have figured out (How can you buy a file from Altnet without the owner knowing about it?), and that they could potentially do this for Kazaa if they were so inclined and able:-

    "Pritt: Posting stats to to 3rd party servers...."

    it starts. But then, the fact of the matter follows:-

    "Of course we won't know about downloads and playbacks of non-signed content, but it doesn't make a difference because:-

    1) It's hard to communicate this to lawyers and users.
    2) If we are reporting signed files [Ed: Altnet] then technically we can do the same for any file."

    See for yourself, http://www.apcmag.com/apc/v3.nsf/0/2F22997D6933B15 ECA256FA1000FB45F/$FILE/TopSearch%20specifications .pdf

    Bottom of page 4.

    In other words, they only logged what they said they would in the user agreement, but they didn't broadcast it because people who don't check their fucking facts will post it on large public forums for debate, and immediately leap to all the wrong conclusions.

    It's not the dynamite people think it is. All it shows is that they can log, it means that the next few moves are foretold:-

    1) The argument will be made that they can log, and therefore are complicity.

    2) The counter-argument will be that logging on
    such a scale is an invasion of privacy, illegal and out of the scope of the user agreement.

    3) The argument will be made that the agreed upon logs with the users can be used as evidence against P2P users. It's not a serious logistical blow, but will be the *real* credibility damage Kazaa will face.

    The endgame is either a Kazaa concession to log all activity, another sale to a different country or just a block on un-authorized files through a deliberately dis-incentivised weak version of Kazaa noone will want, and the winding down of the network will play to the Napster tune.
  • by matthewcraig (68187) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:19AM (#11595412)
    Billboard Jan 8, 2005 - Regarding the federal Syndney court battle over Sherman's Kazaa technology and major labels attempt to "recover compensation for past illegal downloads":

    [The labels' lead barrister] Bannon also asked [Sherman chief technologist] Morle to sign on to Kazaa using a "special command line." This lead to those in attendance witnessing a connection to an alleged central server in Denmark, which Morle said he thought had been "phased out." The labels claim there is a "bank of some 20 computers in Denmark" contolling Kazaa.
    During the 13-day trial, the parties submitted "hundreds of pages" of documents and sworn affidavids of expert witnesses as evidence. Only a portion of these winesses provided live testimony.
    Attempting to establish the operators' ability to control the network, other industry experts said user statistics have been collected by Sharman, users' activities could be monitored, and logs could be maintained to trace users' locations.
  • by defile (1059) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:47AM (#11595492) Homepage Journal

    As I remember reading, Kazaa was such a hard legal target to bring down because of how decentralized the business is. Servers in one jurisdiction, employees in another, the company registered in a third, bank accounts in another, and onwards, etc.

    While it offers an extraordinarily complex legal knot to untangle for anyone trying to bring a suit against them, once they do land in court, the company's internal workings will all be well documented because everyone communicates through email or IM. Oops.

  • subject goes here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Heem (448667) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:48AM (#11595499) Homepage Journal
    Bottom line, if you want to download stuff illegaly, do it carefully and non-mainstream. One of these days there will be a sensable way to purchase music that you can burn to cd or otherwise do what you like for a fair price. Until that day comes, don't be a moron about it.

    Well, don't be a moron then either.
  • You know... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stick_Fig (740331) on Monday February 07, 2005 @09:20AM (#11595993) Homepage
    Did it ever, honestly, occur to them that these are the kind of things that may come to light in a court of law, especially considering the sort of business they do?

    I think it's safe to say that just by association, it further sullys the reputation of their competitors, too.

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