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Kazaa unveils P2P software upgrade

Version 2.5 touts more 'licensed content'

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Kazaa owner Sharman Networks has launched a new version of its peer-to-peer file sharing software, release 2.5.

The new version expands the number of licensed content channels on offer - Sharman seems very keen to stress its role as purveyor of official content, these days - and incorporates Sharman partner Altnet's Peer Points Manager, "a global loyalty and incentive application that rewards users for sharing licensed content". It's a kind of air miles ('share miles'?) for peer-to-peer users, who will supposedly be able to redeem points for more licensed content and "chances to win" other items.

Sharman is also touting Kazaa 2.5's improved security thanks to anti-virus code from BullGuard, which "quarantines and deletes dangerous files shared via P2P". Inclusion of the code is all about educating new users "about the 'road rules' of safe and responsible peer-to-peer usage", said Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming.

So having become the most downloaded software application by tacitly permitting all that illegal file sharing - and some legal sharing, it has to be said - Sharman is now trying to drive all those users into coughing up for content by pointing out how dangerous and irresponsible the illegal stuff is.

Then again, improved search facilities in 2.5 - which include tabs listing previous search results and better advanced search options - undoubtedly make finding the unlicensed content easier too. ®

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