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EDITIONS site crashes

March 5, 2002 Posted: 2044 GMT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -- users were denied access to one of the largest free file sharing networks last week, causing the company to launch a new edition of the software Friday, ahead of schedule.

The crashing of the network also gave a big boost to the competing Web site. 

While MusicCity officials still are investigating the origin and nature of the attack, the company said when users of its site tried to download files last week they received a message denying them access.

The encrypted message appears to have come from Kazaa BV, which had licensed the proprietary FastTrack software to MusicCity. Amsterdam-based, was spun off from Kazaa BV and sold to Australia-based Sharman Networks in January.

In response to the attack on the network, Nashville, Tenn.-based StreamCast, which runs the Web site, launched a new version of its Morpheus software, based on open-source Gnutella technology instead of the FastTrack technology.

From the Web site, users now can download the company's Gnutella-based Morpheus software, enabling them to trade files with other users.

While the company had plans to release a preview edition of Gnutella-based Morpheus, it did not intend to do it this soon, a spokeswoman said.

MusicCity launches new software

The new version of its file sharing software, called Morpheus Preview Edition, will enable faster searches and display more search results, among other new features, the company said. But, because it still is in preview mode, StreamCast is asking users to help get the bugs out of the software. 

The company said it hopes to avoid a similar halt in service by running on the new technology.

"These attacks have forced us to more quickly deploy our new software product in order to allow you to bring the largest p2p community back together," StreamCast CEO Steve Griffin said. responds to MusicCity service problems

The home page of another file-sharing Web site running on the FastTrack technology,, reads, "Morpheus users, come over to our place ... you'll feel quite at home."

A spokeswoman explained that because the three FastTrack-enabled companies, MusicCity, Kazaa and Grokster, ran on the same code, users of any of the three could share files with each other in the past.

She said the site will be hurt by the loss of Morpheus users, because MusicCity customers no longer will be able to share files with Kazaa's users. between the companies users.

Following the incident, and West Indies-based Grokster launched an upgraded version of FastTrack, which locked out users of MusicCity because they were still running an older version, she said. also was hit Thursday with denial-of-service attack similar to the one MusicCity experienced and the company is investigating its origin, the spokeswoman said.

She also said that the original attack on MusicCity came from Kazza BV because of a matter regarding bill payment.

"MusicCity has failed to pay any amounts due to Kazaa BV under the parties' license agreement," Kazaa BV founder Niklas Zennstrom wrote in an e-mail to CNET, according to the Web site. "As a result of MusicCity's breach, Kazaa BV did not provide version 1.5 to MusicCity. Kazaa has also terminated MusicCity's license," the CNET report said.




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