Search terms on Kazaa to be blocked

Search terms on Kazaa to be blocked

Summary: update Eminem, Madonna and Kylie Minogue are just some of the popular artists whose songs are to be blocked from being illegally distributed on the peer-to-peer network Kazaa following Federal Court orders yesterday. Justice Murray Wilcox has ordered the owner of Kazaa, Sharman Networks, to modify the file-sharing software to block a list of search terms -- primarily artist and song names -- to be supplied by the record companies.

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TOPICS: Legal, Piracy
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update Eminem, Madonna and Kylie Minogue are just some of the popular artists whose songs are to be blocked from being illegally distributed on the peer-to-peer network Kazaa following Federal Court orders yesterday.

Justice Murray Wilcox has ordered the owner of Kazaa, Sharman Networks, to modify the file-sharing software to block a list of search terms -- primarily artist and song names -- to be supplied by the record companies. Justice Wilcox's order follows the record companies' court victory in September against individuals and organisations associated with Kazaa.

The court has ordered Sharman to release a new version of Kazaa by 5 December that includes a non-optional keyword filter, restricting users' ability to illegally access and swap copyright music.

The record companies may also update the list of search terms every two weeks. Once Sharman receives the updated list, it has 48 hours to act on the changes.

Justice Wilcox also ordered in a hearing yesterday that dialogue boxes appear on the Kazaa Web site "to place maximum pressure on KMD [Kazaa Media Desktop] users to obtain the updated release".

Nominating the 3,000 keywords is an interim measure ahead of Sharman's appeal in February of the trial ruling.

"On one hand I want to protect the applicants as well as I can, but without damaging the respondents," Wilcox said.

The record companies have a list of 10,000 keywords they want Kazaa to block user access to, according to counsel for the record companies, Tony Bannon, who described the 3,000 measure as "woefully inadequate".

However the Sharman parties' legal team claimed audio fingerprinting technology from United States company Audible Magic, would provide more effective filtering. They cited Wilcox's judgement in September, which allowed that the modifications to Kazaa could include more effective solutions than keyword filtering.

Audio fingerprinting works by capturing characteristics of songs that can be compared with files on a peer-to-peer network, rather than relying on file name or format.

"Audible Magic involves getting the fingerprints for all songs," said a QC acting for Sharman, John Ireland. "You put a black box between two peers and if someone wants to copy something on the list, you can't do it," he said.

However, Sharman's legal team acknowledged implementing audio fingerprinting though would require major change to Kazaa's architecture and asked that the deadline for modifying the software be extended until March to allow this.

"This Audible Magic thing is something that [former music piracy investigator] Mister [Michael] Speck's known about for years," said Ireland.

However, the record companies' legal team described the technology as "ineffective".

Justice Wilcox acknowledged the remarks, saying "reading what the registrar [from an earlier hearing] said about it, this sounds like the solution to all the problems".

However, after noting that Audible Magic's technologies had not been mentioned previously in the case, he disallowed, for now, Sharman's push for it to replace keyword search terms.

Sharman would have to persuade the court that Audible Magic was more effective than keyword filtering in order for it to become the required modification, said Wilcox.

"Audible Magic sounds fantastic, but magic is often illusory," he said.

Topics: Legal, Piracy

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  • Justice Wilcox needs clue

    So if this keyword checker was implemented, and the record company creates the keyword files, who's ever going to vet it. Its bad enough that there will be a ridiculous amount of false positives, but the record company can start slipping in even more basic keywords that block plenty of innocent content. Its a stupid solution that really does infringe upon people freedom of use rights. Their precious DRM is around the corner. Do they have to constantly rain on everybodies parade instead of desperately grabbing scraps.
    anonymous
  • What about the kids?

    It's a shame no-one has thought of including a list of child porn related keywords to help prevent file sharing of images and movies that exploit children. But I guess there is no money in stopping child porn.
    admin73
  • Hmm

    If keyword ABCDE were blocked, could one perhaps simply circumvent it by searching for ABCD?
    anonymous
  • Kazaa Lite

    LOL I hate to say this to the RIAA, but this hacked, spyware-free version of Kazaa will be virtually unaffected by this.
    anonymous
  • Anticompetitive tool

    They can also block competitors.

    If some independent artists decide to distribute their music via P2P - say, with a tip-jar, or making money off gigs, or whatever - there would seem to be nothing stopping ARIA adding their names to the list.


    Of course, "Christians banned on KaZaA" might make a better headline, if they block searches for "Madonna and Child" :-)
    anonymous
  • RE: What about the kids?

    Precisely. The thing that gets me the most is that other P2P networks including TrustyFiles tries to prevent child porn searches. All they would need to help prevent it is have a "report child exploitation" feature and they have that one covererd. I know dobbing on someone isn't the right thing to do, but in this situation, it's unavoidable.

    Stuff the music for the time being!
    Orb!ter
  • peer to peer

    i wonder if the RIAA / movie industry will ever stamp out peer-peer piracy. First came napster, then gnutella, morpheus,limewire, bearshare, bittorrent.
    Will anyone download an updated Kazaa that will block popular keyword searches?. The RIAA's technique of flooding Kazaa with bogus versions of popular music worked better. Personally I will stick with the peer application that comes with ubuntu...
    anonymous
  • napster

    I remember (back in the day) when suddenly on npster files were really hard to find, the fix was to mispell what i wanted. Its just going to happen again. emenem will become eeminem..etc... and on kazza even the listed ones you will be able to download older, and hacked versions of kazza LOL!!!!! SO WHY ARE THEY WASTING THEIR TIME!!! if their cd's were worth buying in the first place they wouldn't be downloaded!
    anonymous