Accessing music via the Internet has
really been heating up over the past 24 hours. First we have Sharman Networks'
KaZaA with their new peer to peer
file sharing software. Following this is the rebirth and huge marketing push
of Napster 2.0. Lastly, the ugly head of the Recording Industry Association of
America (RIAA) once again on the legal rampage. KaZaA, who is now offering
version 2.6 of their software, now allows people to have multiple searches to
make finding files faster. Part of the perceived problem with KaZaA is that
their software has been called a Trojan Horse with alleged "spyware"
called Gator as being part of the
KaZaA software. The Gator fiasco gets thicker as it cases generally unwanted
targeted pop up advertising that is said to annoy many computer users. In fact
the reputation of Gator has been such that days ago the company has officially
changed its name to Claria Corporation.
Getting back to KaZaA, a prepared statement from the company concerning their
new software said, "This latest version is designed to enable artists to
offer music, video and promotional material in a digital package or 'Kapsule.'
Musicians will now be able to offer a much greater variety of material, such
as images, audio, video, lyrics, tour dates and band information in one
Rolling with the punches is Napster, once the end-all be-all
file sharing software, that went from millions of users to virtually zero
following many legal battles. The brand name was eventually purchased by Roxio
who has now developed a more legal way to offer music files online. Napster
2.0 offers downloads for 99 cents per song or $9.95 per album. The new
software allows access to over 500,000 music files for CD burning and
transferring music files to portable devices. Napster 2.0 allows for a simple
"Shop" feature or "Premium" service. The differences are
Listen to 30-second clips
$.99 per song and $9.95 per album
CD burning with a drag-and-drop functionality
Detailed artist and album information
Create play lists
View music videos
Search for music by genre, artist, track title or popularity
Transfer music to various popular devices
Send music to friends
$9.95 per month
Unlimited streaming and downloading
Access to professionally programmed radio stations
Message boards to share opinions and offer suggestions
Meanwhile the RIAA has filed 80 new lawsuits against alleged
file swappers, furthering their reputation of strong-arming music lovers who
are not following the letter of the law by sharing copyrighted music files.
This is the second time they have filed a vast amount of lawsuits as in
September they targeted 261 individuals. Of the 204 people who received
warning letters from the RIAA from the first round, it has been reported that
124 of those people attempted to find a resolution without going to court.
RIAA President Cary Sherman said, "We are pleased that our efforts to
extend illegal file sharers an additional chance to come clean and work out
settlements are proving successful. The fact that the overwhelming majority of
those who received the notification letter contacted us and were eager to
resolve the claims is another clear signal that the music community's
education and enforcement campaign is getting the message out."