KaZaA Prepares to Charge for Music
Hoping to find a legal solution to music sharing, KaZaA is looking into charging its users for the music they download. This follows on the huge success of Apple's iTunes.
KaZaA is looking into two methods of payment. The first would be by hooking into a credit card, and charging the card for each download. The second would be a connection with the ISP. The ISP would monitor the user's connection for downloads, and would automatically tag on a charge each time the user downloaded a music file.
KaZaA was developed by 3 programmers in Estonia and is currently owned by a small corporation in Vanuatu, an island in the Pacific Ocean. There is no central server - individuals who download the KaZaA software all communicate directly with each other in a peer to peer network.
In fact, while record companies try to go after KaZaA for creating a network that millions use each month to steal music with, an entire separate person, "Yuri from Russia", has developed a new software product. Called KaZaA Lite, the software is completely ad-free and allows the same file sharing without involving the original KaZaA company at all.
As people switch to KaZaA Lite, both KaZaA and the record companies may have to find a new way to charge users for their music downloads. In the end, it may come down to having the ISPs monitor a user's traffic and to bill them appropriately.
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