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KaZaA Sees Its Shadow

31 Jan, 2002 By: Hive News

A week after Dutch file-sharing service KaZaA was sold to a mysterious Australian concern, the company's software is back on the scene, but little is known about who's running it.

The service has resumed downloads of its file sharing software and, resuming another plan from before the sale, observers believe a new version of the software will debut soon.

KaZaA, which lets users trade music, videos, software and other digital content for free, went dark last week in the face of a Dutch court order forcing the company to control copyrighted material on its service.

The company split into two units, selling off the KaZaA package to Australia-based Sharman Networks. KaZaA founders Niklas Zennestrom and Yanus Friis, who created the original FastTrack peer-ro-peer technology that enabled the services, will hold onto the rest, company spokeswoman Kelly Larabee told The Net Economy.

The new owner, Sharman Networks, appears to have no direct mailing address and no publicly available records and its name does not generate any listings at all from the Australian Investment and Securities Commission Web site – akin to an American company having no listing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sharman's only contact with the outside world is through a press representative in California who would not comment on the company, according to told The Net Economy.

Sharman CEO. Nikki Hemming, formerly chief executive of failed Sydney theme park Sega World, which flopped.

Now Australian trade agencies are sniffing around the KaZaA deal. The Australian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA), which monitors that country's copyrights for musicians, has begun to investigate Sharman to make sure it is not infringing on copyrights, according to "Australian IT", a networking Web site from that country.

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