Call a spade a spade.*

Meg takes exception to my phrase yesterday that Kazaa is "designed to steal things." She writes, "If Kazaa is transferring files that people have illegally placed online, the fault does not lie with Kazaa (or Napster, or LimeWire). It lies with the individuals who placed property online without appropriate permission." She goes on to compare Kazaa et al to Blogger or FTP, because these technologies have the ability to help people illegally copy material.

Give me a break.

That P2P file sharing has legitimate uses, which I'm not questioning (nor am I saying that they should therefore be illegal), does not change the fact that everyone knows: Kazaa was designed to let people get copyrighted material for free, which wouldn't otherwise be free. (Not that I have personal insight into the creator's heads, but I'm willing to go out on that limb. In fact, looking at their practices, I'd go so far as to say that Kazaa was designed for the creators to profit from people illegally sharing material.) Yes, there other nice things about it—convenience, access to otherwise-hard-to-find stuff. And yes, in many cases it drives music sales. And yes, many people would pay for the stuff they download if there were a convenient and reasonable option. And yes, the music industry is evil. And it's good it's getting shaken up. And yet, Kazaa was still designed to steal things. And it's probably used more for porn than music. Oh well.


p.s. - I don't get the chance to argue with Meg nearly as often as I used to. Fun!