THE KAZAA peer-to-peer file sharing service is working again, three years after it was shut down by the music industry in a $150 million lawsuit.
However, like Pirate Bay and Napster, the service is in name only with users being forced to pay for their music instead of trading tracks illegally.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the service has been launched by Kevin Bermeister, who was behind much of the technology in the original Kazaa.
His outfit is called Brilliant Digital Entertainment. Bermeister is based in Rose Bay in Sydney but the company has its offices in Los Angeles and New York.
He has a strange business partner in Michael Speck, who ran the music industry's case against Kazaa as the head of its Aussie anti-piracy arm, Music Industry Piracy Investigations.
To debut on Tuesday, the new Kazaa will at first be available only in the United States. Its US customers will pay $20 per month and can download as many songs as they like.
There is a huge amount of competition out there for music downloads and Kazaa admits that really all it has is a name to make it a bit different. That and you can have your monthly fee paid through your phone bill.
The format being used is Microsoft's WMA, which is unsupported by Ipods but can be converted to the more common MP3 format using software.
Tracks sold by Kazaa's new service will be subject to the Vole's crippled WMA digital restrictions management (DRM) so they can only be transferred to five other devices. µ