Looks as though peer-to-peer file sharing network Kazaa is pulling a Napster and joining the side of the angels. After legal battles with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI)—think the RIAA writ large—the producers of the software, Sharman Networks, have agreed to alter the software to prevent illicit materials from being traded and Kazaa will become a legitimate music download service. Furthermore, they’ve agreed to pay in excess of $100 million worth of damages to the recording industry.
Well, I’m glad we got that taken care of. That ought to close up the matter of piracy on the digital seas. Seriously though, I wonder if Kazaa will have any more success at the transition than Napster has had. At least some of the IFPI’s personnel seem to get that this is only part of the problem:
The IFPI calculates that the global traffic in illegal CDs is worth $4.5 billion (£2.4 billion), down $100m from 2004.Systemic piracy like counterfeiting will do far more damage to the recording industry than downloaders across the country watching X-Men 3. Really, downloading X-Men 3 is its own punishment.
The IFPI points the finger at China as the largest producer of pirate discs. It says that 85% of discs produced in the country are illegal.
[via Slashdot ]