Kazaa

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“I too once used Kazaa...like 190,123,982 years ago.”
~ Oscar Wilde on Kazaa
“To continue the installation, please check the "Allow spyware and adware to infect your pc option.”
~ Kazaa on installation

Kazaa is the world's most popular virus software. As the first and most efficient online music service to enter the scene, Kazaa spread like wildfire on the internet. One of the software's most popular features is the constant bombardment of advertisements, delivered gracefully through the program's one-of-a-kind interface. As one excited user states; "This software is wicked! Even after I removed it, I still had 24/7 access to all the ads! And that was over six months ago!" It's easy to see why the software retains its standing popularity.

The company that created this program is owned by Sharman Networks ( a division of Sony), and was founded on October 23, 2000 by Cary Sharman in the small town of Kazaa, Japan (Population: 42 according to the 2000 U.S. census). When it was first started, it only had 63,000 songs - all J-pop. However, it soon grew to include almost every type of music known to mankind, including songs from classic albums such as:

  • All Hanson, N'Sync, and Backstreet Boys albums
  • Kidz Bop MCMXXWTFZXFLVI
  • Best Buy: The Album
  • Ron Artest's rap CD
  • The Sounds of Your Computer Disintegrating from Within
  • Britneyspearsanalraygold.avi

edit Compatibility

Kazaa currently works on all platforms, except for Mac OS X, Unix/Linux, and Windows XP SP2 - because these operating systems contain too much security for the Kazaa Media Desktop software to function correctly. Users of these operating systems are advised to downgrade, preferably to Windows ME.

edit Pricing

Songs are priced at a reasonable $5,000 a song - although if you are lucky, you may not have to pay at all. All payments must be made through the RIAA (the intermediary which handles song licensing for Kazaa). Outside the US, usage of Kazaa may cost slightly less or even be free. A subscription service is also available for a $500,000 one-up fee (although, once again, if you are lucky you won't be billed).

edit DRM

All songs are digitally protected by the Kazaa version of the Sony BMG rootkit - which watches your computer for signs of piracy and erases the hard drive if it sees any. Not to worry, though. You can transfer songs to an unlimited number of kPods without a hitch (the software includes a convenient plugin that will convert your songs to the required 8-Track format). Currently, there is no support planned for the relatively unpopular iPod. Overall, Kazaa's DRM restrictions are much more lenient than its legal download competitors LimeWire and Grokster.

Although illegal P2P sites like iTunes have little to no DRM, the stability of the software and reliability of downloads is often questionable at best. Using these sites is not recommended.

edit Kazaa Lite

WARNING: Do NOT use Kazaa Lite! The NYPD, Metro Detroit Ford Dealers and the band Interpol are authorized to shoot Kazaa Lite users on sight!

An unauthorized hack called Kazaa Lite is available which removes the rootkit and DRM restrictions. However, Kazaa condemns the use of this and has already issued a fatwa for the death of its anonymous creators "Napster" and "GnUte117". FOR GOD!!

edit Expansion

Since adding all music known to mankind (with the exception of the Beatles, as they all hate the Internet), Kazaa has expanded beyond music. With the release of the KPod Video, Kazaa has added a number of TV shows and movies to its library, including:

  • Manos: The Hands of Fate
  • Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Barney - The Complete Fourth Season
  • Fantastic Four
  • The Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee/Oscar the Grouch Complete Video Collection
  • Catwoman
  • Batman & Robin
  • Power Rangers Super Ultra Giga Mega Turbo - seasons 2 and 3
  • Ishtar - Special Directors Cut
  • Oscar Wilde: The E! True Hollywood Story

These videos can be played only once, on a KPod video - any further attempts to play back the movies will lead to the FBI, CIA, and Waco knocking on your door.

edit BitTorrent Merger

On November 27, 2005, Kazaa announced a merger with BitTorrent, a semi-legal grey market MP3 download service based in Omaha, Nebraska (they are considered semi-legal since they partnered with Joe's Crab Shack, rather than the RIAA, to license music cheaper). If approved by the NHL and Metallica, the merged service will be known as the Kazaa BitTorrent Media Desktop and will combine the grey-market approach pioneered by BitTorrent with the Kazaa DRM system. Kazaa's management will run the parent company (which would be known as Sharman BitTorrent Corporation, or SBC for short).

edit Controversy

Many musicians have expressed their disdain for Kazaa, most notably Nick Cave who attempted to take down all peer-to-peer filesharing systems with his flurry of Bad Seeds.

edit Promotions

Kazaa has held a number of promotions, including:

  • RC Cola promotion - 1 in 3 receives a code to download the Sony BMG rootkit (which comes with a free J-Lo song)
  • Kwanzaa promotion - free downloads during Kwanzaa(Note you must be jewish)
  • New York Times promotion - Note: free registration required
  • RIAA promotion - only $500/song if you sign up immediately after receiving promotional letter
  • Canada promotion - free music for everybody in Canada, except for Quebec

edit Current State

Kazaa, is the most used music/program/virus searcher in the world. Today, it is used by at least 235,000,000 people around the globe, if we include Aliens, them make it 800,000,000. Due to the money earned, the creators of Kazaa decided that the software was so good that it didn't need more updates, so there arent any new versions since then. The current site its still running, and still offers the program download. However, the creators left a note saying that they were coming back someday when the war between the bittorrent clients ended.

edit Links

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