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Johanne Torres[November 23, 2004]

Kazaa Now Offers Skype’s Free Web Calls

BY JOHANNE TORRES


Kazaa’s (news - alert) new version 3.0 was just released with a very notable extra feature—Internet telephony capabilities. Sydney-based Sharman Networks, distributor of the Kazaa file-sharing software, said the new version of the popular program will enable users to make free online calls anywhere in the world.


Kazaa v3.0 integrates Internet telephony software from Skype Technologies SA (news - alert). Kazaa co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis recently launched Luxembourg-based Skype—a peer-to-peer-based software that allows users to make unlimited Web-based voice calls to other Skype members. Zennstrom and Friis also co-founded peer-to-peer network Altnet.

Kazaa 3.0 will also offer advanced search capabilities and a free weblog trial membership provided by TypePad. TypePad is a hosted weblogging service that gives users a rich set of features to immediately share and publish information—like travel logs, journals and digital scrapbooks on the Web.

Kazaa and similar programs like Napster, Morpheus and Grokster, have long been known as the nightmare of recording industry associations worldwide. Three months ago, a U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled that Morpheus and Grokster, do not violate American copyright laws.

"Despite narrow-minded attempts by others to stymie P2P technology through litigation, boycotts, and legislation, we remain committed to delivering on the promise of peer-to-peer," Nikki Hemming, Sharman Networks’ CEO said in a statement. "And with the recent U.S. Federal Appeals Court decision affirming that peer-to-peer software is legal, we expect to continue innovating and enhancing the experience for Kazaa users."

Kazaa allows its members to download and share music, movie, and software files. The software has been downloaded more than 300 million times since 2001. Skype, however claims its software has been downloaded more than 37 million times and has served more than 2 billion minutes since it launched. It has been reported that the integration with Kazaa could bring Skype an extra 13 million users.

Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

 

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