Is Kazaa Really Centralized?

from the conspiracy-theories dept

While many have been following the story about the music police raiding Sharman/Kazaa’s office, one competitor thinks it’s a good thing. Streamline, the makers of the Morpheus file sharing application, has a long history with Kazaa – as they used to license the same technology until they were accused of not paying their bills and were shut off. So, clearly, they are a bit biased against Kazaa, but they’re bringing up a very important point. The whole point of having a truly distributed file sharing network is that it can’t be shut down, even if you shut down the folks who released the software. Yet, Morpheus was shut down two years ago which made many people question how this was possible. Over time, these questions have faded, but the folks behind Morpheus are raising the question again and saying that Kazaa is really centralized – and have been hiding behind their odd corporate structure to hide this fact for the last couple years. That would be quite a revelation, and would seriously damage Kazaa’s legal standing. Thus, the folks behind Morpheus are hoping that the questionable raid on Kazaa’s offices will establish this for certain. It appears that, once again, there isn’t much harmony in the file sharing world.

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Comments on “Is Kazaa Really Centralized?”

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1 Comment
pat says:

It's not centralised....

Kazaa is not centralised. I’ve spent time packet sniffing what goes in and comes out of the client. The client comes pre-installed with around 200 supernodes which it sticks in the Registry, which are all private broadband addresses mostly in the US (whether these people now that their IP is being used in this way is another matter). Not all of those supernodes are running when you fire up the client for the first time, but it attempts to connect to them in batches until it finds one that is. As soon as it connects, it gets an updated list of supernodes from whichever supernode it connects to and sticks that list in the Registry instead. The important thing is that you can block traffic to all Sharman-owned IP addresses and the client still runs. What you won’t see is the HTML content within the client. But you still get full file-sharing capabilities.

Sharman USED to maintain a centralised backup supernode to which the client would eventually connect if it couldn’t connect to any of the hardcoded supernodes. That was done away with a loooong time ago. Last time I looked, iMesh still used that system but I suspect that they’ve got rid of it, too.

Morpheus is just stirring up stuff with these comments. They hate Kazaa for bumping them off FastTrack ages ago and have sat and watched Sharman rake in millions of users while Morpheus annoyed the rest of the Gnutella network and lots users by the hour…

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