Why Sharman Wants to End Kazaa Hacks
September 5, 2003
It has been well documented by this stage that last week Sharman issued a series of DMCA violation notices against several sites including Slyck and Google. Ray from Slyck issued a statement denouncing the move while Google linked to the DMCA notice at the bottom of each search result, which in turn linked to the removed sites. In the interest of fairness we sought an explanation from Sharman for their actions. Phil Morle, CTO of Sharman spoke to Slyck.
Essentially Sharman stated that they had conducted these actions because “a time had come where we need to stop the mass distribution of hacked versions of KMD because of a series of problems that they cause”. They stated that the issues related to the hacks included the fact that they were ...
"Anti-p2p as each hack out there just diminishes the P2P experience for others”. They are "Unstable as these applications hack the software, not at the source code level, but by performing dangerous modifications, often while various values are in memory". Phil added that they were "Short-sighted as long as these applications remove the capacity for Kazaa to display licensed content to its users, it is helping to prolong the legal ambiguities of p2p." Phil also pointed to the scam artists that sell kazaa hacks via the Google sponsored links.
In addition Sharman has rubbished claims that there was a connection between the issue of the DMCA and the launch of Kazaa Plus. Phil said “That the DMCA notice arrived at a similar time to our Kazaa Plus pre-announcement is a complete coincidence.”
So do any of these reasons make sense and justify issuing DMCA violation notices that have seemingly further damage people’s perception of Sharman?
Certainly some of the justifications will ring hollow with typical p2p users who are typically after non-DRM content and have not experienced any significant issues using kazaa Lite. The manner and necessity of the DMCA notices which were issued also still needs addressing. Sharman did not respond directly to questions from Slyck over violation of freedom of speech.
If nothing else the response indicates the strategy of this large commercially driven p2p company. It shows their desire to increase DRM content, remove their legal headache and to exercise greater control of distribution and references to the kazaa brand.
The response does highlight the forgotten problems that some hacks can cause developers but does not deal with what might have motivated people to create these hacks or the motivation of users to divert in droves to utilising them.