Two derivatives of the popular Kazaa peer-to-peer filesharing service now actively attempt to block scans by the RIAA and other agencies, escalating the P2P war to a new level.
Both Kazaa K++ and Kazaa Lite, two very similar modifications to the Kazaa file-sharing system by Sharman Networks, now contain hooks to the PeerGuardian database of IP addresses. Both updates were published to the Web at the end of last week.
The two versions available for download are Kazaa Lite 2.4.0, and Kazaa K++ 2.4.0. Although the version numbers are the same, the Kazaa Lite download is 2.67 Mbytes, while the K++ version is 3.11 Mbytes; both are bundled with different features and apparently contain slightly different code bases.
The two developers of the program once worked together, but have decided to release different versions, according to postings by the two authors. Neither are affiliated with Sharman Networks. Freenet, another network, was also designed to allow anonymous, encrypted sharing of files and other information.
Neither developer released any official statement explaining the addition of the new features designed to defeat the RIAA’s scanning efforts, which the agency reportedly began at the beginning of this month in an attempt to discover which users are illegally sharing copyrighted files. Once the IP addresses are matched to individual users, the agency will begin filing copyright infringement lawsuits this fall.
At post time, the RIAA.org site was not responding.
The new versions contain several features designed to foil scanning attempts. PeerGuardian attempts to catalog a range of IP addresses used by or suspected to be used by labels, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and other agencies. The database is built by contributions of individual users, although the methodology used to determine and verify the IP addresses is unclear.
Users of the latest versions of Kazaa Lite and Kazaa++ also have the option of disabling a function that allows remote users to see what other files the user has. The two P2P updates allow users to block port 1214, used by the Kazaa program, for additional security. In addition, the two programs do not save a user’s search history in the registry, and Kazaa Lite also allows the option of erasing the search history automatically after exiting the program.
This story was reported earlier by Neowin.net.