RealTime IT News

Kazaa Adds Licensed 'Channels'

Controversial peer-to-peer software firm Sharman Networks has released a new version of Kazaa Media Desktop application, adding licensed content channels, a rewards program for content-sharing and new security features.

Kazaa, a target of the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) efforts to block piracy of copyrighted works, said v2.5 of its desktop application would add licensed content via new 'Channels' for users to search, browser, trial and buy third-party content.

While use of the software remains free, the new Kazaa channels -- hawking anything from 'hip hop' content to steaming music -- adds a business twist to the rogue P2P app, which is used primarily to download and share digital music and movies for free.

The company said channels would be added in the future to shuttle content and services from extreme sports footage, wireless software, broadband services, mobile ring-tones, searchable document archives, online libraries and further audio and video content.

Kazaa v2.5 also adds the Altnet Peer Points Manager, an incentive-based application that rewards users for sharing licensed content.

As destructive virus writers continue to target Kazaa users, the company said security has been tightened in the latest version. BullGuard, the default anti-virus feature has been ramped up to quarantine and delete dangerous files shared via P2P.

The addition of licensed content channels on Kazaa comes on the heels of a similar move my Joltid to piggyback on users' bandwidth to cut down on server expenses for content distributors.

Joltid, based in Sweden, is marketing PeerEnabler as a P2P content distribution platform that which makes use of idle bandwidth to distribute files from third-party firms to other users. "For software developers and content publishers, PeerEnabler will greatly increase and broaden the services available and reduce the cost for content distribution," Joltid explained.