Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Does Kazaa matter?

CNet has an interesting article about how Kazaa is losing users. It is estimated that around 5 million fewer people now use the service, while the number of people using networks like eDonkey and BitTorrent have increased.
The article gives som reasons for the figures, but doesn’t mention Kazaa Lite. Some time ago, Sharman Networks threatened legal action against people who hosted versions of Kazaa Lite, and even used the DCMA against Google to prevent them from linking to these sites. Kazaa Lite is a version of Kazaa that has been reverse-engineered to remove the advertising and spyware, which technically makes it illegal as this is forbidden by Kazaa’s licensing agreement.
While it is still possible to download various cut-down versions of Kazaa, many major sites which hosted it complied with Sharman’s demands and took the files down. Many then recommended that users switch to eMule, an open-source, spyware-free eDonkey client.
It’s interesting to note that many of the eDonkey clients are open source – eMule, MLDonkey and Shareaza are all open source. There’s a similar situation with BitTorrent, which can only be a good thing.


  1. Kazaa is rapidly becoming irrelevant in the same way that napster did. Since they became fixated with financial gain and litigious posturing pretty much everyone I know in the P2P realm has moved to shareaza or winmx.
    The former is a particularly brilliant piece of software, but do be sure to set it to connect to eDonkey and gnutella 1.0 networks (it doesn’t by default) otherwise you will struggle to find anything interesting.

  2. I’ve been using BitTorrent for quite a while now. For music, there are very few files that are “corrupt” compared to Kazaa.
    Lately, I have been grabbing audiobooks. Things that I would be “borrowing” from the library anyway, so I don’t really feel like I’m “stealing” anything. 🙂
    It’s nice to be able to justify things, isn’t it…