The world of file sharing changed significantly today. As described in this article, there’s been complicated relationships between the three main players for the last few months. Three services – Morpheus, Kazaa, and Grokster – were all basically using the same software (referred to as “FastTrack” or “Kazaa”). Morpheus was distributed from a web site named […] continued

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On Friday, the judge in the Napster case made it clear she was unhappy with the record industry for the way it has handled its own online music web sites. The labels have sought to impose anti-competitive licensing terms with online rivals and created sweetheart deals with each other for their own online joint ventures. […] continued

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“Spyware” is a new term that describes little programs that report on your web surfing to third parties – usually without your knowledge. They typically arrive on your system as an unwanted component tucked in with something you’re installing on purpose. RealPlayer would install a tempting utility to assist you with downloads – and buried in the fine print was a sentence acknowledging that information about the web sites you visited would be sent to RealNetworks. […] continued

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MUSICCITY STILL IN BUSINESS is under attack from the copyright police, and a court in the Netherlands ordered it to halt file swapping a couple of weeks ago. It’s holding steady so far, and it announced today that it plans to release a new version of the Morpheus software which will tap into Gnutella, a true peer-to-peer network. […] continued

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A fascinating article by Mike Godwin, attorney and fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology. His argument is that the real war is not between the copyright holders and the copyright “pirates” (you and me) who distribute unlicensed copies of creative works over the Internet. The real war is between the content industries and the techology industries. […] continued

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Kazaa is currently the most popular software for file sharing. In addition to being available under the Kazaa name, its software is licensed to MusicCity and Grokster. It is much more decentralized than Napster; in theory, users are put in touch with each other directly, with no central servers maintaining a database of users or shared files. […] continued

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If you’re an AudioGalaxy user, this addon from might be of interest. It helps you assemble a complete album from the songs available online, with a single click. I’m told it works, but I haven’t tested it.

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There’s still a chance that the copyright police will be forced to back down. There’s lots of market forces favoring the .mp3 format and it’s possible that consumers will turn away from the expensive locked-down files that will be made available by the recording industry.

In the next few weeks, the record industry will finally launch two high-profile subscription services, Pressplay and MusicNet. […] continued

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Those daffy jokesters at the RIAA are in high gear these days.

Last week the recording industry attempted to insert provisions in anti-terrorism legislation that would have exempted them from any liability for hacking into the computers of people sharing music files. The recording industry is considering plans to use technology to launch denial of service attacks against people using file sharing programs like AudioGalaxy or MusicCity – flooding the computers’ Internet connections so they’re unusable. […] continued

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UPDATE 10/10: The proposals are quite real – but the meeting last week apparently didn’t happen. The Register sends its apologies.

POSTED 10/7: The music and entertainment industries plan to step up their war against mp3 file sharing. As reported by The Register: “Last week, the RIAA hosted a secret meeting in Washington DC with the heads of major record labels and technology companies, plus leaders of other trade bodies and even members of the US senate. […] continued

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Music City and Kazaa have been the most popular file sharing programs recently, taking Napster’s place. The recording industry filed suit Friday in federal court in Los Angeles against Music City, Kazaa, and a company named FastTrack that licenses the software to those services. Here’s the first news item I saw about the lawsuit. […] continued

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“It is unlawful to manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any interactive digital device that does not include and utilize certified [Digital Rights Management] security technologies.”

According to this article in The Register, those are the opening words of draft legislation “obediently proposed by US Senators Fritz Hollings (Democrat, South Carolina) and Ted Stevens (Republican, Alaska) on behalf of their entertainment and software industry patrons.” […] continued

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According to a new study, more than 3.05 billion files were exchanged over four file sharing systems in August – and that’s more than Napster at its peak in February, when 2.79 billion files were traded.

This is great news. The record industry has attempted to kill file sharing by sowing the seeds of paranoia and suing everybody in sight. […] continued

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Here’s an example of the future as envisioned by the megacorporations that are trying to turn copyrights to their advantage. Imagine that you open the cover of your summer reading and find this notice:

“By opening the cover of this book, you agree to the following license terms: You do not own the book, you are merely licensed to read it.

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If you’re looking for a source of online music now that Napster is gone, here’s a good article about the alternatives that have arisen in the last few months. I’ve gotten the best reports about AudioGalaxy and MusicCity, for what it’s worth, although it’s a little worrisome that AudioGalaxy has already started some “filtering” of the songs available. […] continued

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