Thursday, July 27, 2006


In what the record industry is portraying as a famous victory, and everyone else sees as the last squirt of a spent force, Kazaa has agreed to pay USD100 million to the music industry and to go legitimate. Money, we suspect, it just hasn't got.

"We have won another battle in an ongoing war," said John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI). "We move forward with a spring in our step."

This, of course, despite most filesharers having migrated to bittorrent years ago. This move is about as significant in the battle of copyrights as the closure of Napster was - it's a torching of a ghost town.

Kennedy tries to engage with the awkward fact that, for all the legal actions and upbeat press releases, people are still sharing files in a way they perceive as illegal:

"We're not sure whether we should be pleased that it has not increased or displeased that it has not gone down," said Mr Kennedy. "We're not proud or disappointed."

You're not sure? Well, lets try and give you a clue, Kennedy. If you had rats in your basement, and you spent a fortune hiring exterminators, and the number of rats didn't change at all, how would you feel? Like you'd wasted a lot of money, we'd bet.

The other downside to this agreement is that now Kazaa have accepted responsibility for their user's filesharing and come to an agreement to compensate the music industry for what it claims are its losses, does the RIAA have any moral right to claim to be compensated for the same losses from the end users? Hasn't this agreement effectively closed off much of the legal action that the RIAA has been pursuing?