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Morpheus goes to sleep – users locked out

Incompatible software blamed

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Users of file swapping service Morpheus arelocked out of the service because technical problems.

MusicCity Morpheus blames the problems on incompatibilities between it's the way its network works and a fresh release of software provided by Fast Track software, the KaZaA Media Desktop v1.5, which was released on February 11. Fast Track's code is used by KaZaA.com and Grokster as well as MusicCity's Morpheus system.

The software upgrade happened unexpectedly, according to MusicCity Morpheus, which said KaZaA Media Desktop is "currently incompatible with Morpheus".

"We share our Morpheus users' frustration with this action and are committed to getting you back up on the network as soon as possible. As a result, we are accelerating the release of our new Morpheus software and within days expect Morpheus users to enjoy the Morpheus Preview Edition," a statement by MusicCity Morpheus states.

In a dig at other networks, MusicCity Morpheus added: "unlike other peer-to-peer networks, we remain committed to a free software product without spy ware."

The announcement would appear to signal a break between MusicCity Morpheus and Fast Track, the bulk of whose assets were recently acquired by Australian firm Sharman Network Services. When, and in what form, Morpheus Preview Edition will be delivered remains unclear.

The situation is complicated by the record industry's legal action against Kazaa and Grokster and Steam Cast Networks, which provides the technology behind MusicCity Morpheus. The music companies argue that the services are adding copyright piracy. Their action will be heard in a Los Angeles Federal Court on March 4. ®

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