KaZaA blocks copycat

Sharman Networks, the company behind the world's most popular download service, KaZaA, has begun a mass campaign to close rival program, KaZaA Lite K++, on the grounds of copyright infringement.

Last weekend thousands of KaZaA Lite K++ users found almost every download site that uses the application had vanished, after Sharman Networks contacted hundreds of ISPs threatening them with legal action under the (Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) if they failed to remove the program from their websites.

Despite its name, KaZaA Lite K++ has no connection to the real KaZaA program, instead it represents just one of the many light packages of the file-sharing applications on the market.

Light versions were set up to allow users to avoid controversial spyware and adware, which are installed on Sharman's KaZaA service and, most importantly, to offer a free alternative.

This latest action could be seen as another attempt by the Australian company to turn its service into a legitimate download program.

Earlier this year it forced Google to take down links to the modified version of KaZaA Lite and in November it announced a campaign with content experts Altnet to persuade file-swappers to buy or download authorised content.

Although the KaZaA Lite package can still be downloaded from certain websites it is unlikely to work properly, if at all, according to experts.

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Wendy Brewer

PC Advisor (UK)

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