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Ka Za A Is Ethical And Legal Essay

2767 words - 11 pages

KaZaA is Ethical and Legal


The Internet is undoubtedly one of the greatest innovations of the past hundred years. The Internet provides a means for people all over the world to share information readily and rapidly. Like all technological innovations, the Internet has provided a better means for information to be exchanged. The down side of this is that the Internet can be used to transmit illegal information more easily.

KaZaA is an Australian company that offers a means for internet users all over the world to exchange files of all types, with one another. Many users have been using KaZaA as a means to exchange music, movie, and program files, which is illegal based on the laws of many nations. The recording industry of the United States claims that they are losing money, as many users are using KaZaA to distribute music freely. Currently the United States is trying to sue Sharman Networks, the company that distributes KaZaA. It is not right for the United States to sue KaZaA both ethically and legally. First of all KaZaA is a company outside of the United States who has created a software program that allows the exchange of files. The problem is that people are using the software to illegally exchange files, so it is the users who are violating laws, not the distributor of the software. If the United States wanted to go after the source of the problem, they should go after the people who are using the software illegally, and not those who created the means to trade software illegally.


KaZaA is a file exchange program, that is operated by an Australian company that is incorporated out of Vanuatu, a small pacific island nation. KaZaA provides a means for people to exchange files with each other. People from all over the world can exchange information. KaZaA is often compared to Napster, in that both are frequently used as a means to exchange music files in mp3 format. There however is one large difference between the two. "Napster, which indexed songs on its servers"1 is not the same as KaZaA, who does not store any information about the files that users have, as it merely provides a means for two people to exchange information. KaZaA uses what they call "supernodes" for users to distribute files. The way the "supernodes" work is that a user who has a broadband connection becomes a "supernode" who then becomes the server from which users can download files. All KaZaA does is provide peer to peer networking software, where as Napster actually stores information about the files that are being swapped.

Earlier this year "U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson has ruled music and movie picture companies can sue the off-shore file-swapping site KaZaA, which argued it was exempt from U.S. jurisdiction because it is based in Australia and incorporated on the island of Vanuatu."2 The Motion Picture Association of American and the Recording Industry Association of America are two of the groups at the...

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