Remember the good ole days when everyone online *ahem* would flock to Kazaa for free music downloads? Then, the sudden shutdown?
Kazaa's new owner, Sharman, was sued in Los Angeles by the major record labels and motion pictures studios and a class of music publishers. The other defendants in that case—Grokster and MusicCity (makers of the Morpheus file-sharing software)—initially prevailed against the plaintiffs on summary judgment (Sharman joined the case too late to take advantage of that ruling). The summary judgment ruling was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but was unanimously reversed by the US Supreme Court in a decision titled MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd..
Following that ruling in favor of the plaintiff labels and studios, Grokster almost immediately settled the case. Shortly thereafter, on 27 July 2006, it was announced that Sharman had also settled with the record industry and motion picture studios. As part of that settlement, the company agreed to pay $100 million in damages to the four major music companies—Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music—and an undisclosed amount to the studios. Sharman also agreed to convert Kazaa into a legal music download service. Like the creators of similar products, Kazaa's owners have been taken to court by music publishing bodies to restrict its use in the sharing of copyrighted material.
Well TP readers, I want you to know that Kazaa is so back! Check it out:
And this time, it's become all legal. Have to hand it to Kazaa for this total change of heart! Shared CNET,
Altnet and parent company Brilliant Digital Entertainment attached the Kazaa brand to a subscription service that will offer songs and ringtones from all four of the major recording companies. For the past few months, a beta version has been available. [...]
The site will open with over 1 million tracks. According to the blog TorrentFreak, the new Kazaa will offer unlimited downloads for $20 a month.
$20 a month? A bit on the steep side but I hope they give subscribers a little something of a bonus.