Kazaa set to hatch points program

File-swapping software giant Kazaa is steps closer to music-business legitimacy with a software upgrade later this month that lets users win prizes and earn points that they can use to buy multimedia content.

Sharman Networks Ltd. will update the Kazaa Media Desktop later this month to version 2.5, and bundled within the update will be an enhanced version of the Altnet component. Altnet Inc., a subsidiary of Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc., delivers premium content in Kazaa search results. The component has shipped with Kazaa for a year, and it drew critical attention when users discovered its presence.

When you upgrade to Kazaa Media Desktop version 2.5 you automatically download the new Altnet program, called Peer Points Manager. The Altnet component comes as a default option with Kazaa software, but you can uninstall it later.

The Peer Points Manager lets you trade hard-drive space and bandwidth for points. You can use these points to enter sweepstakes for cash and prizes, or you can use them to purchase Kazaa's premium content, says Kevin Bermeister, Altnet's chief executive officer.

Keeping Swappers Honest

"We are just trying to solve the riddle of how to turn a profit on peer-to-peer file swapping and to entice illegal file swappers to actually buy content," Bermeister says.

Kazaa users can easily opt out of Peer Points Manager, or they can set caps on the resources they make available, he says. The trade-off helps Altnet save money on hosting and bandwidth costs. And Altnet protects users' privacy and does not collect or track their surfing habits or other personally identifying information, he says.

Altnet currently offers a payment scheme called TopSearch that seeds the Kazaa network with copyrighted content such as games, music, and videos authorized by their owners for swapping, Bermeister says. Users pay for full use of this content.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Spring

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?