The Web's Most Intriguing Music-Related Issues & Destinations. This Week: KaZaA, Missy Elliott and the Scumfrog.
KAZAA LIVES: The Dutch Supreme Court on Dec. 19 dismissed a long-running legal challenge to shut down Internet peer-to-peer service KaZaA. The Supreme Court, the highest European court yet to deal with the complex issue of P2P piracy, rejected demands from Dutch music copyright organization Buma-Stemra that KaZaA stop offering unauthorized downloads and that future versions of the software be modified so that copyrighted materials cannot be exchanged over the network.
The Dutch decision means that the developers of the software cannot be held responsible for how individuals use it, confirming a March 2002 ruling by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. KaZaA founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis call the ruling a "historic victory for the evolution of the Internet and for consumers."
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI) is downplaying what it describes as a "flawed judgment." In a statement, the trade group says the ruling will "almost certainly be overtaken by future decisions based on a full airing of the facts." A separate U.S. case brought against KaZaA parent Sharman by the film and recording industries continues.
KaZaA's legal triumph comes at a time of soaring consumer popularity for its service. Research compiled by Nielsen/NetRatings indicates that the service registered 9.35 million European and 8.24 million American users in October.
PASS THAT SCUM: Not many things are more enticing to the remix community than a new Missy Elliott single. Her cuts have become proving grounds for remixers and producers looking to add their own styles to her uniquely rhythmic tracks, and her latest single, "Pass the Dutch" (Elektra Records), is no exception.
Producer/remixer the Scumfrog has teamed with Elektra to create an official remix of "Pass That Dutch," which is available for free download thescumfrog.com. Dubbed "The Crobar Remix," the song will be available through Feb. 12.
According to the site, Scumfrog's free remix of Lucy Woodward's "Blindsided" (Atlantic) was downloaded 8,000 times in a similar promotion earlier this year.