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Court Docs Reveal Kazaa Logging User Downloads 514

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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  • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Informative)

    by laughingcoyote ( 762272 ) <barghesthowl AT excite DOT com> on Monday February 07, 2005 @06:45AM (#11595172) Journal

    Piratebay is hardly private, although I think your response is a bit of a troll-if they were doing that, they'd hardly have any users left, not to mention they'd be on PG's blacklist by now.

    Evidence of what you're claiming aside, though, I've never used piratebay, although I have had a look at their legal correspondence. The site I use has, to my knowledge, not had its url posted here, and I'm not going to change that today.

    A good private tracker, registration and ratio required, is a good degree of protection. I've never gotten -one- hit against my protowall while using those torrents.

  • logged IP addresses (Score:4, Informative)

    by mincognito ( 839071 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:13AM (#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??
  • use earth station 5 (Score:4, Informative)

    by leuk_he ( 194174 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:17AM (#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, ;)
  • by FilthCatcher ( 531259 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:19AM (#11595268) Homepage
    I found an article on the evolution of "I could care less". (I really have nothing better to do with my time right now) []
    In my opinion it's lazy, wrong and just plain annoying English but then again I don't want to interfere with the natural evolution of language.

    So feel free to use whatever you wish - just remember that a lot of people will think you're an idiot for using "I could care less".
  • Skype? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:25AM (#11595280)
    What ramifications does this have for Skype? If it seems the company is not trustworthy, then no amount of "this is not spyware" will allay users' fears now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:28AM (#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, 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 strider44 ( 650833 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#11595383)
    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.
  • Re:So... (Score:2, Informative)

    by jon_oner ( 753207 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:30AM (#11595441)
    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 Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @09:15AM (#11595612)
    The server only keeps a track of what IP numbers have WHAT files. When you search, the server sends you a list of file names and IP numbers. YOU communicate with the PEERs to download files. The server does not know what files you download--UNLESS YOUR OWN SOFTWARE TELLS IT WHICH FILES YOU DOWNLOAD. That would be SPYWARE.

    What I think was going on here was that the SPYWARE on kazaa was sending info back to the server on what files you downloaded. That is the spyware part of kazaa/altnet. Specfically, the file topsearch.dll.

    However, and please correct me if I am wrong, kazaalite, and specifically the hacked version 2.4.1 does not contain this topsearch dll file. Thus, kazaalite, at least the old hacked versions of it, do not inform the server of what you do, or what you download.

    THen we have the question of how long your ISP keeps server logs of IP numbers.....

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @09:26AM (#11595662)
    Personally I have never had a problem with Piratebay. Spread all the FUD you want but not only have I not heard these rumors in the past but nor have I had any complaints from my service provider.
    And belive me, I have downloaded more than a few torrents from them....I'm still waiting to learn the hard way. I might actually believe your trolling had you at least provided a link to backup your tinfoil conspiracy theory.
  • Re:WOW (Score:3, Informative)

    by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:30AM (#11596065) Homepage Journal
    Yes it does, but in the process of making leechers and whatnot pay, it created a stingy client itself.

    Emule's credit system is stingy because of how it's credit system works. First, It only trusts itself, which is good since you can't trust anyone else. Second, it only uploads on priority, in other words, the person that uploads the most to you gets the best queue rating and gets more download time from you.

    So if for example you download File X, Client X will put you in the bottom of the queue unless Client X has ever downloaded from you in the past, which is statisticlly unlikely. It doesn't matter if you have file A-Z shared on your pc, as long as client X never wanted file A-Z and never downloaded files A-Z from you, your at the bottom of client X's queue.

    Since you just started the download, you have nothing to share to the clients that have all or part of what you are downloading, so they will put you on the bottom of their queue. once you finally get a chunk you can share, the download speed increases since your sharing something to them and your rating is going up, but the process of getting the first chunk could take hours if not days in some cases.

    Emule can fix this easily by doing one of two things. First, set the priority of uploads that you are actively downloading release priority. and set it back to auto once the file is completed, and second, giving clients with no chunks to download a Very high priority so that they can get something to share quicker and can give back to the network, Then once they get a chunk drop the priority to a standard client level.
  • Re:Woah (Score:5, Informative)

    by flosofl ( 626809 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:43AM (#11596167) Homepage
    No, the Internet was supposed to survive the outages of nuclear warfare, not guarantee complete anonymity. Complete anonymity will be used for theft, guaranteed.

    Bzzzt! Wrong! This is one of the biggest Urban Myths out there right now. It seems I see this every copld months or so.

    The internet began as a RFP in ARPA(long before ARPA became DARPA). It was started as way to:

    1 - eliminate the need for 4 different terminal types on one desk.(that was how the idea germinated)

    2 - Facilitate the sharing of information beteween gov't contractors and researchers who had ARPA grants.

    3 - A way to timeshare systems for researchers who would not oridinarily have access to such systems.

    It was US centric at the beginning and ARPA and ARPA's subcontractors/researchers only.

    ARPA net was not designed for fault tolerence of command/control during a nuclear war. That was the impetus behind Paul Baran's development of the idea of packet-switching networks (that wasn't his name - the term "packet" came from Davies who sorta developed the same idea concurrently). He could never drum up support for the idea with ATT (really the only entity that could impliment it at the time). They said it was stupid idea. ARPA later grabbed the idea of packet switched networks and used it because it lent a robustness to otherwise unreliable lines of communications and the IMPs that terminated each line. The fact of the fault tolerence in terms of catastrophic destruction due to war is simply a coincidental side effect when you take into account the reasons the ARPA project was using packet switched networks.

    Sorry. Got on my high-horse there. I just can't stand when people say that ARPAnet was designed in a distributed manner to survive a nuclear war. Not true. It was the basis of Paul Baran's conceptual model of a packet switching distributed network.
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:50AM (#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 [] 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 [] or by searching for [ remove phone number Google ].

  • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @11:01AM (#11596305) Homepage
    Entrapment is far more limited than people normally think. Basically it's where you're enticed to do something you would otherwise not have done, as opposed to merely being given an opportunity to do something you would've done elsewhere anyway.

    The first example that springs to mind is the Space Madness episode of Ren and Stimpy. Stimpy would normally never press the History Eraser Button, but when he's not only deliberately put in proximity to it, and the narrator keeps pushing his face in it, that's basically how much effort is needed for something to be entrapment.

    Just being undercover -- that's not entrapment.

    You could probably google for a discussion of the issue with some good case cites or something.
  • Re:Skype? (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheoMurpse ( 729043 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:14PM (#11597110) Homepage
    Kazaa is owned by Sharman Networks. Skype is owned by Skype Technologies. No relation.

    Many people have been confusing this lately, so I wouldn't feel bad. I'm just trying to correct the error because I, I'll admit, am a Skype fanboy.
  • Re:Once again... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:53PM (#11597576)

    You use a "reputable" service that facilitates your stealing other peoples' property?

    I mod down everybody who confuses copyright infringement and theft as -1, Troll. Everybody reading Slashdot knows that this is deliberately provoking an offtopic flame war.

    Copyright infringement isn't theft. Not in any way, shape or form. The dictionary says so. The Supreme Court says so. Common sense says so. The only people who claim otherwise are the MPAA, the RIAA, and Slashdot trolls. None of these people can back up their assertion that two very different actions are actually the same.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @01:23PM (#11597894)
    Entrapment is only for the law enforcement in criminal cases not civil.
  • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Yartrebo ( 690383 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @04:11PM (#11599970)
    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.
  • by Yartrebo ( 690383 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @04:23PM (#11600093)
    You haven't countered the parent's argument. You just ignored the parent and gave the same argument again.

    You're not saying why it's obvious (apparently it isn't obvious enough for the parent, or for me, or for most people for that matter). You're even using the language you're trying to defend in your argument, which is classical circular reasoning.

    Also, you're attacking the person, not the argument, by calling him childish and stuffing words into his mouth.

    As far as a counter-argument goes, you haven't even produced an cohesive argument, so why bother.
  • by Unnngh! ( 731758 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @11:39PM (#11603578)
    Umm, Last time I checked [] ES5 had intentionally inserted malicious code into its software.

    What's your ip address dude?

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl