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This weekend users of Kazaa Lite K++ learned that almost every download site of the popular peer-to-peer file-sharing application had disappeared, including the links on its own home page.

Sharman Networks, the company behind the original Kazaa, approached the ISP of every website that hosted the program and ordered its removal on grounds of copyright infringement.

Kazaa Lite K++ is one of many light versions of the popular file-sharing program, but it wasn't developed by Sharman Networks. K++ was set up to offer a version free of the growing amount of spy and adware within the original Kazaa Media Desktop Program. In exchange for installing Kazaa Media Desktop without charge, the GAIN Network and Cydoor spyware will show you online ads. Remove these add-ins and Kazaa simply won’t work. Kazaa does offer an ad-free Plus version for $29.95, but naturally, most Kazaa users preferred the free versions widely available on the Web.

Although there are still plenty of sites where Kazaa Lite can be downloaded, the program may no longer function properly, according to Slyck.com. Kazaa Lite is based on a Kazaa version prior to 2.5. Therefore a current supernode (a computer that contains a list of some of the files made available by other Kazaa users) in the Kazaa Network will not accept its shares. "The speed of the application will pummel to the ground and (drive Kazaa Lite) out of existence," a user notes.

As expected, most Kazaa Lite fans are gnashing their teeth. Here is an attack from Slyck.com: "This latest act from Sharman punctuates a long history of hypocrisy that involves the protection of their own intellectual property rights, yet blatantly ignoring the copyrights of others."

Many Kazaa Lite users will probably divert to other Kazaa clones, such as GIFT, which connects to the Fasttrack, Openfasttrack, Opennapster (old Napster) and Gnutella networks. Still alive and kicking is also the Diet K add-in, which removes all spyware from the original KaZaA Desktop without crippling it. ®

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