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5/6/05 What's safe and legal to download using a file-sharing program?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / May 4, 2005 9:24 PM PDT

Thanks to all of you who contributed to this past week's Q&A topic.
Gretchen, I hope this week's members' advice give you some direction to your concerns. Whatever your decisions may be, please take extreme cautions when downloading programs, we really don't want you to return and have to submit another question on how to get rid virus or spyware contracted using a file sharing program. Grin So good luck!

Members, if you have more questions, or additional advice for Gretchen and other members wanting to use a file sharing network, by all means feel free to post them in this thread below. It?s all up to you as a community to contribute and learn from one another. So keep on posting.

Thanks everyone and have a great weekend!
-Lee Koo
CNET Community


I'm a new user of Kazaa and am looking for some guidance. Is there any reasonable way to know when I'm downloading a file that it's legal and safe for me to download? I'd love to get some good peer-to-peer stuff, but I don't want to break the law or accidentally download any viruses. Thanks.

Submitted by: Gretchen G.


Since your question really has two parts: legality and security, I will answer them separately.

Simply put, there is no easy way to know for sure that what you are downloading is legal. You would need some way to determine the owner of the copyright and confirm that they have made it available for download. However, you can determine with reasonable certainty a good portion of that which is illegal to download:

1. Virtually all major software (this excludes open-source software such as Linux). With software, you can check the product homepage to find their licensing conditions. Anything by Adobe, Microsoft, Macromedia, and the other big makers is almost certainly not legal.

2. Motion picture releases. Essentially any motion picture backed by a major film studio is the property of the studio, and they're not likely to let it go on a peer to peer network.

3. Music by "known" artists: This is the area with the most uncertainty.
Known artists generally don't want their music on peer to peer networks.
Unknown artists may actually be trying to use the peer to peer network to gain publicity, so it is POSSIBLE that their music is legal, but I would still be wary. If you'd like to download music legally and free, check out's free downloads:

As far as the security of your downloads go, the most important things are the normal mechanisms for securing a computer:

1. Run a well-known anti-virus product and keep its definitions up to date at all times. Scan all files you download immediately.
2. Don't run programs of unknown status.
3. Use a firewall: Windows XP has one built in, and there are a number of other good ones out there.
4. Be careful of what you download and think if it seems reasonable: there are few software programs out there under 100 kilobytes, but plenty of viruses and worms fit the category.

Good luck with your downloads!

Submitted by: David T.

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Honorable mentions
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / May 4, 2005 9:24 PM PDT




I hate to disappoint you, but the vast majority of the stuff found on Kazaa is going to fall into the catagory of being illegal somehow, and/or the catagory of being a virus in disguise of a file you're looking for.

Furthermore, Kazaa is NOTORIOUS for being pre-loaded with spyware! Your best bet would be to remove it entirely and sweep the computer for spyware after you've uninstalled it.

If you MUST delve into the realm of Kazza, Google "Kazaa Lite." It's pretty much the same program, only without the spyware.

As for telling what's LEGAL and what's not - there's NO easy way to tell.
There's no flag for "public domain" or otherwise shareable files. You would have to do a bit of research on the file to see if the author(s) are allowing it to be shared, or if it's someone's bootleg. You'll have to visit the author/artist's website to see if they've given permission to share the file. SOME artists have, some have not. If you're looking for say, Metallica
- the answer is 100% positive that the file is NOT legal to download.

Fortunately, it's easier to tell if a file is SAFE. If it looks to be WAY too small - like 25 - 50 KB, it's probably a bogus file - complete with a virus. Your typical MP3 file will be at least a couple of MB in size. An AVI file will be typically 500 MB or larger. An MPG file, likewise, will be at least 500 MB.

A note about media files... The MPAA and the RIAA have been posting and sharing bogus files. These files wind up being passed on to others. There's an awful LOT of garbage available on Kazaa. For instance, let's say you're willing to do something <ahem> less than legal (NOT endorsing doing this!) and you're looking for a copy of a recently released movie and you happen to find someone on Kazaa who claims to have it. You might be surprised to find that the file you've downloaded may contain the first 5 minutes of the movie followed by 2 hours worth of black, empty video. The file size looks about right, but the content is not there.

For what it's worth, Kazaa is more trouble than it's worth.

Submitted by: Pete Z.



Hiya Gretchen, the answer to your question is either very easy, or very hard to implement, at least as far as legality goes.

1. Legality
If it is a commercial item, whether song, video, software or book, it's illegal. You didn't pay for it, you can't use it. At least, that is the current argument being made in court by the RIAA, MPAA and other media organizations.

[*1] So yes, all those songs you find, movies, books and programs are off-limits if you want to stay within the bounds of the law. You can use it to download anything that is freeware, shareware or in the public domain. There are songs from commercial artists that are 'given away' on websites and etc, but I am not sure how that would be viewed legally.

2. Safety

To be as safe as possible (there is no way to be 'safe' in any kind of absolute sense) scan everything you download with at least one virus-scanner that is kept absolutely up-to-date. You really only need to scan software and a couple of other file types, but unless you know what you are doing tech-wise, and keep up with all the latest methods of virus-transmission, scan 'em all. I remember when it was safe to open any word document, and along came the macro virus.

Word to the wise...

Get yourself a good spyware scanner. Or two. Or MORE! (Personally, I run Spybot Search & Destroy, Ad-Aware, MS AntiSpyware Beta, and Spyware Sweeper. I almost always have at least 3 of them find something even when I run them one after another).

Another related security concern you may not have have considered is that Kazaa (and many other file-sharing clients) come bloated with spyware and adware and infect your computer as soon as you install them. My suggestion would be to get a file-sharing program that does not bundle spyware and adware. K++ is Kazaa without the 'ware, but reportedly the people that make Kazaa (Sherman) are doing everything they can to destroy its usefulness because they are losing revenue for everyone who uses it.

CNET's has recently made a commitment to allow NO software that bundles adware to be listed on their site (something that deserves *tremendous* appreciation from the user-community - the editorial on the home page should be required reading), so you might do a search there for p2p or file sharing or just go to then click INTERNET then FILE SHARING for the full list. I like to sort the lists by the CNET Rating (done by clicking on the 'CNET Rating' column header [which really should be marked in some way, e.g. in blue and underlined]). Then I look within the top CNET rated files for the top User rated files and check those out.

To check my own advice I performed the course of action outlined in the previous paragraph and the searches produced a small selection, while of course going to the category produces a long list, but sorted it works. I would not choose Grouper or any of the BitTorrent clients as I don't think they will fit your needs.

I did notice K Lite (a version of Kazaa) when I searched 'file sharing' which is adwared. Ah, I see this is K Lite GOLD and says "K-Lite Gold is not affiliated with Kazaa or Kazaa Lite." Though judging by the one review, it seems to at least have underhanded tactics and misrepresentation in common with Kazaa/K Lite.

While my quick answer quickly grew, I think the more info you have the better (to a point!)


[*1] I moved this down here so it didn't get in the way of the actual answer.
(I'll ignore right now that the media empires that are fighting file sharing with the argument that you have to pay for the rights to use their product (listen to their music, watch their video, etc) have nothing for those of us who have already paid 'for the right to use' a book or CD and then lost the physical media... they want you to go ahead and pay again, which kind of shows that they don't believe their own arguments.)

Submitted by: Chris P.




The short answer is no. There is no way for you to know which is legal or illegal software. When I was using P2P software about two years ago, you could find EVERYTHING from music to software to ebooks to whatever. And you can still do it.

Since you are sharing files from someone else's hard drive vs. a central server like the old file sharing systems (remember audiogalaxy?), there is no central computer for any company to regulate. Therefore anybody can share anything. I had times where I thought I was downloading something and it turned out to be something else. The file name did not match what I received. Thankfully I never got a virus doing this. When you use P2P software, you open a port on your machine so that others can share from your share folder. Some programs allow you to turn this off, but that is frowned upon within these networks since that defeats the whole purpose of P2P. If everyone did that, there would be nothing to share. If you are on one of these networks, and you see a song by a signed artist or software, that you would otherwise have to pay to get somewhere else, chances are it's technically illegal to get it. If it's freeware, you can share it over the network, but there's probably another way to get it that doesn't compromise the security of your machine. If you write software or your own music and want the world to be able to download it and listen to it on their machine, that's legal. Put it in your shared folder and see who takes it. And vice versa. There are ways to email or chat with other members of these networks, so I suppose you could ask if the software/music is copyright protected. No guarantee you'll get a truthful answer.

My suggestion is just to avoid them. There are plenty of truly legitimate sites to get music cheap and software cheap, that file sharing has lost it's appeal. And with ISPs turning in members who have downloaded music from these sites, it's not worth the risk to me.

Hope this helps in your decision. If you do choose a file sharing program, I would use Shareaza (if it still exists). It's free of spyware. Kazaa always had spyware associated with it and there was no way to remove that without disabling the program.

Submitted by: Daniel K.



There is no way to determine if the file is safe and virus free before you download it. There is also no way to determine if, say for the sake of discussion, the file containing Bob Dylan actually contains Bob Dylan. It could be another artist or garble. The same is true with peer-to-peer software, movies, documents, etc.

While most of the people in the file sharing community are well intentioned, there will always be a few who upload malicious or fictitious data.

Now the legal side. There are many legitimate and legal uses for file sharing, such as using it to self-publish your own creative works.
But, let's assume you are speaking of the most common use of the technology, sharing music. Most of the files that you will find on a peer-to-peer network, like Kazaa, are not legal. They violate copyright laws. It is only legal if the artist, or copyright holder, has given whom ever is distributing the songs the right to do so.

How do you find legal files? Well, you have a couple of options.
1. You can use a fee-based music service, like Rhapsody or iTunes.
2. You can go straight to a band's website and see if they offer files.
3. You can check out the myriad of free mp3 sites. The songs are submitted by the artist or record labels themselves as promotional tools. has a large selection of free downloads, also, and cnet's own
Some of these sites don't allow you to burn the songs onto CDs, but they are legal. You won't need to worry about the Recording Industry Association of America suing you or the FBI seizing your hard drive and arresting you.

You don't want to tell to the murderer that you are sharing a cell with that you are in for downloading Bob Dylan, do you?

Submitted by: Adrienne C. of Tallahassee, FL

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file sharing
by drmoo / May 5, 2005 10:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Honorable mentions

Most of the answers provided on the legality of file sharing are from the US (as are I susupect most of the readers). However, the country one is in does make a difference. In Canada it is legal to download and possess copies of copyrighted material for one's own personal use(at least at the present time). We pay a tax on all blank media that goes to the recording industry. Interestingly the cost of blank media with the tax is similar in the US and Canada. There is currently a proposal to change the law that would affect sharing (but not possessing - otherwise RIAA would have to give up the tax right?) of copied material, but as of now, it is open season.

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Additional advice from our members (section 1)
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / May 4, 2005 9:25 PM PDT

*** Additional advice from our members (section 1)***

Gretchen, I think you should be aware of all the viruses that come through these files as much as any legal implications. Once you download the Kazaa program run a virus scan and you will see how many are attached to Kazaa thru Gain ,Altnet,etc. Keyloggers,etc. I had the free download and paid $30 for the Kazaa Gold, but had to remove it for fear of spam and infections. Many songs were incomplete or not the full version. The larger your music files becomes the more you have to worry about losing thru viruses. I once had to start fresh after having almost 600 songs on files, not all from down loads. Every since that happened, I have been wary of peer to peer programs, although I will go occasionally and download a song. Be aware of software downloads violation, especially large companies like Microsoft. Last note: after buying Kazaa Gold I spent almost 30 minutes calling Kaaza with some of my problems and issues and found that they were aware you several problems that they are not making public knowledge prior to purchasing and there are no refunds, which they say is in the EULA (agreement that no one reads). Good Luck.
Submitted by: John




In my opinion, there is just one answer to your question: don't use file-share programs at all !!

What you are doing is to say: "Hi, out there - no matter who you are or what you want to put on my
computer, just do it - it's complete wide-open, and I neither want nor can't control whatever you're
doing - btw: the password and code to my Internet-bank is here:......"

If you were an insurance agent, what would you think of a person doing so with his house and after-
wards complained of being stolen?

Best greetings from

Submitted by: Kim N.



With peer-to-peer (PtP) programs, you get what you search for ... and then some. If you search for the title of a song, movie, or software and you get responses, then chances are it's copyrighted material. If you want truly free, unrestricted items, then you're better off going to the source. For example, brand-name song sites and band Web sites carry some free and super cheap music, and for software, there is a wealth of open-source and very cheap material. PtP can take forever to find, and forever and a day to download.

Further, considering the crowd that frequents the PtP population, there is also a good chance something you download will end up being garbage anyway. Years ago I used to do the Kazaa stuff, but the songs I downloaded were:
- incorrectly named
- viruses
- porn
- malware
- low quality (pops, hiss, dropouts)

I gave up PtP entirely, and have no qualms about spending 99 cents at iTunes, and if I want free or cheap software, I look to SourceForge (I have a Mac now, so the world of cheap software reaches far and wide) or, or I do a basic Google search. Once I find what I'm looking for, I head either to, SourceForge, the developer's Web site, or other quality source.

The original spirit of PtP -- sharing of information -- is gone. Don't look for a paper on the human genome project on PtP: rummage around university sites. Federal and state governments host their own sites too, and government material is not copyrighted.

Submitted by: Tim M.



Stay away from Kazaa! (I don't care what version you are running) The P2P networking is very taxing on your operating system, hard to remove and what I have found out after dealing with Kazaa is that only 20% of the files I have ever downloaded from there are worth anything. What a waste of time and recourses!

I wonder how many people have had a Trojan sneak in during a download? Some were designed just FOR Kazaa. ie: kazza.exe is a virus, possibly of the OPTIXPRO.12.C. / Backdoor.OptixPro.12.c type. This virus allows unauthorized access on the computer and stops Internet security packages from functioning. This program is a registered security risk and should be removed immediately.

Use Limewire or WinMX if you intend to "Share" files then call an exorcist to remove Kazaa permanently.

Submitted by: Bruce T.



Well Gretchen G. there is no real way to not break the law on Kazaa since it is purely a peer to peer network and there is not a regulation on the content being traded on the networks. The best way to not break the law or download viruses is to completely stop using Kazaa or any other P2P software. Most come bundled with spyware, malware, or adware so already your computer is possibly infected since Kazaa is notorious for crashing computers. Try paying for your music, through trusted download companies such as MusicNow, Itunes, or Rhapsody; there is no risk of malicious content, you are guaranteed quality downloads at very high speeds, no queuing which is one of the worst parts of using P2P, and best of all they are legal. I find that ninety-nine cents per song is not so bad when you think of all the hassle you do not have to deal with. I hope this solved your question.

Submitted by: Richard D.



Hi, Gretchen G.

I used to use Kazaa for a while on my DELL PC. The reason i quit was that there is hardly any music that doesn't contain viruses, ad and spyware on it. Because of the peer to peer system. However there really isn't any way to know whether the file is legal or illegally ripped of a CD.

Within the first week of using Kazaa my computer slowed down intensely, even though I have a P4 3.6 Ghz with HT and 1 GB of ram. Also when i ran Ad-Ware SE it found over 159 types of adware on my PC. Also AVG 6.0 Professional anti virus found 7 viruses, including Trojans and dialer's

The Safe way is to use Limewire, which i have been using for 6 months without any problems

Submitted by: Tarun I.



The issue with KaZaA and pretty much all peer-to-peer services is that you don't necessarily get what you think you're getting. Yes, you can get good shareware or freeware, but there are also a plethora of people using those services for sharing copies of commercial software, pirate copies of music files, among other things.

Also, there is no absolute positive way to guarantee the functionality nor the safety of whatever it is you download from these services. People can rename files, put virii in files, among other things.

In general, downloading from these services can get you what you want, but don't take anything downloaded from them at face value. If you do decide to use anything downloaded from there, make sure you back up your system before installing it. This way, you can return your system to the pre-installation state fairly easily.

Submitted by: Chris



First of all delete Kazaa out of your system. It is a spyware application that slowly steals hardware space and makes your computer behave very strangely. What you want to do and I know it is a little more costly but download itunes, real player, or windows media player and buy music for $.99. These programs are the best and do not contain spyware or any other harmful virus that may terrorize your system. These are all legal but are a little bit more costly...but what would you rather do? take your computer in to be cleaned of viruses for about $40.00 and have a chance that you are doing something illegal or would you rather get the suggested players and not have to take your computer in?

Submitted by: Taylor R.


In reply to your question:
Sometimes one of the easiest things to do is to download it and then start looking. If the software has a License Agreement within the package, read it, then you will know. Others are obvious due to the format by which some companies name their software. With a little looking around the package or a quick web search you can find out if what you are downloading is Licensed for free distribution between "people" or whether you are required to purchase an official copy. Also, read up on the documentation on (Kazaa? I believe that is how you spelled it) and see whether they have any kind of special licensing and distribution agreement with the company whose software is in question; they might have an agreement by which software downloaded through their "means" is not legally required to be purchased. Afterwards, you should probably delete your downloaded package if you have found it to be illegal distribution.

Submitted by: James T.



In the first place, according to Big Brother (in this case, the powers that be who have appointed themselves guardians of the wealthy) any unauthorized (unpaid
for) use and downloading of files such as music, video or any other media created for the purpose of generating income is considered illegal. This is evidenced by the ridiculous lawsuits brought by mega corporations against a few industrious college students not long ago. Summing up that run-on sentence, suffice it to say that if you are not paying the owners of the intellectual media which you are downloading, you are technically breaking the law.

As to viruses; most of them are constantly being hunted, researched and ultimately foiled by the likes of Symantec, the makers of PC-Cillin and others, and as long as you have virus protection you are in no more or less danger than ever; it's like the flu.
Some get it, some don't regardless of inoculations.

The pay version of Kazaa claims not to place spyware; if you believe them then I have a nice piece of bridge property in Brooklyn that I'd like to interest you in.
However, running Ad-Aware and Spybot S+D does a very good job of rooting out most of that cyber-excrement.
I don't think anything gets rid of all of it, unless one is extremely competent in registry tinkering and spends 90% of their waking hours editing their registry.

I have found BearShare to be a lot easier to deal with than Kazaa, and though the free version downloads files a mite slower than the pay one, the ad ware/spyware is easy to get rid of, and the over all experience blows Kazaa away. Not that I would ever advocate getting anything for free, mind you! This is one man's opinion.

Submitted by: Peter L.



As regards legality, it depends what you are searching for. If you search for a Movie or a Music Track and then download the whole thing, you already know that you are most likely downloading Copyright material.

If you leave your PC running all night downloading "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" you could hardly pretend that you thought it was legal.

However, if you do a search for Paris Hilton, you will know that whatever you find will almost certainly not be illegal. There is a DVD of her antics available for rent in our local Movie Gallery and I doubt she is getting the royalties.

About viruses - I have on occasion downloaded files using Kazaa Lite which were infected. My McAfee installation caught them every time during the download. I don't worry about this at all.

Submitted by: Terrence P.



Gretchen G.




Submitted by: JACK H.



Unless you're providing a file distribution service to clients or work in the information technology field, there is no valid reason for peer-to-peer software other than downloading pornography. Porn seems to be the only remaining legal download and much of that has been stolen from copyrighted material or requires you to purchase the file prior to receiving it. And with cyber-cops cracking down on child pornography, you may accidentally wind up with child porn and find yourself being charged with distribution of child porn due to the native distribution capabilities of P2P programs. Most program downloads, movie downloads and music downloads are copyrighted materials that are being distributed illegally. While there are a few shareware programmers, amateur movie makers and struggling musicians using this service to distribute their work and "be discovered" they are probably not the types of files YOU would be looking for. And finally, viruses are always a concern. In today's, cyber-world you MUST have a good anti-virus, firewall service and adware/spyware blockers. With these safeguards in place you can surf fairly safely, although you must keep them up to date.

Submitted by: Tony R.



The best way to keep viruses from being downloaded to your computer is to not download files at all. Myself I have found Avast Antivirus to work the best for detecting viruses before they reach my computer. It has found viruses that Norton AntiVirus couldn't and either deleted them or quarantines the viruses that Norton AntiVirus reported that it couldn't do anything to these viruses.

You can get Avast AntiVirus free with a free registration key for home use only at AVAST.COM.

I now download files without worrying about being attacked by viruses. It makes a great Firewall also.

I hope this helps you out to not worry about Viruses from Music files or any other files that you may want to download from the net. Happy computing.

Submitted by: Michael D.



In reply to Gretchen G's question, peer-to-peer music file-swapping is illegal, whether via Kazaa or any other similar site. Music is, almost always, copyright; that means that in most countries you don't have the right to make copies or distribute it in any form. (Here in the UK, even making one backup copy or a cassette for your own use of a music CD is still a grey area in law.) The debate continues as to the morality of the issue, but as the law stands you cannot legally download files nor offer your own for uploading - and the relevent authorities are successfully prosecuting users of file-swap systems in several countries.

To make Kazaa and similar file-swap applications less usable, many of the files on offer are "nonsense" files - they have the artist and song title as the file name, but contain jumbled sounds or simply silence. It's no great secret that these are being deliberately "offered" for sharing by those with an interest in stopping P2P file-sharing.

You may encounter viruses, probably not through music files, but quite easily if you download programs (since these have .exe files which may well contain nasties!) Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date - but I guess you do that anyway...

Submitted by: Phil S. of Bolton, UK

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What About Limeware?
by Milo98 / May 5, 2005 11:13 PM PDT

Ok, so everybody agrees that most p2p download songs and software are illegal, and this Kazaa thing is trash. So far, I've heard no mention of Limeware. I stumbled across this a while back and have used it extensively. (Not all the time, but in bursts. I don't leave it on except while searching.) And so far, the worst problem I have had is songs mislabled because several artists did them, or someone thought a particular artist did the song.

While many replies have suggested getting free songs from sites that provide them as promotionals, or new artists looking for exposure, I have no interest whatsoever in any of the new stuff. My main interest is in the 50's and 60's, maybe some 70's. And there's not much of that available for free and legal. Someone mentioned that they didn't mind paying 99 cents to download a song. Well, if I downloaded 700 old songs, most of which are no longer available commercially, that would amount to $700. Interestingly enough though, I probably have as many mp3's ripped from CD's I personally own, as from downloads. I download the stuff I can't find anywhere else. It fills the gap.

As far as looking over your shoulder for the FBI, we might as well get used to it, as much as we may despise it. For example, the government is right now trying to make vitamins illegal. It's no joke. Who knows where it will end?

Anyway, if you want to download stuff, try Limeware. I've never gotten a virus or spyware from it, and 98-99% of songs are good. Oh, and Limeware DOES claim that their downloads are legal. Whether it would hold up or not, I don't know. But they have a big long page explaining why it's (supposed to be) legal.

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by melspec / May 6, 2005 1:08 AM PDT
In reply to: What About Limeware?

does ares have less spyware

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Limewire is just another P2P network...
by Jamie314 / May 6, 2005 3:14 AM PDT
In reply to: What About Limeware?

/// There are only a few differences between KaZaA, LimeWire and other peer-to-peer clients. For a start, they all have different user interfaces and many use different networks for file sharing.

This has no bearing on the legality of the files that you download. You are quite correct, Limewire does have a page explaining that use and download of the Limewire software is legal; however, downloads of music and software (often illegally hacked, cracked, or otherwise fiddled with) are NOT LEGAL. ///

On the subject of the 99c a song nonsense, I would strongly recommend anyone thinking of downloading from a DRM store (such as MSN Music or iTunes) to shop around for cheap CDs on the internet instead (Like yourself, I wouldn't touch the legal downloads with a bargepole). A full CD from iTMS would cost me

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Lime Ware is Full of Malicous Code!
by cattluvver / May 16, 2005 3:32 AM PDT
In reply to: What About Limeware?

I tried Lime Ware and one of my spyware programs, Spysubtract didn't even want me to launch it! It said, "danger, contains malicious code". I kept trying and finally tried it to see. It worked okay, but I didn't like using it. I ran NoAdware and it found Critical problems and stuff and it was all related to Lime Ware. I blasted them all and finished deleted Lime Ware. It is not even close to safe!

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What to do?
by willifordw / September 6, 2005 2:48 AM PDT

I did subscribe a couple nights ago to Lime Ware and could not get it to work and don't like it. Do you have any idea how or who or where I go to to cancel it and not have my credit card charged?

What a mistake!!

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RE: What about Limeware
by twehmeier / May 16, 2005 9:30 AM PDT
In reply to: What About Limeware?

Well that is certainly a new one on me, but it sounds a little too much like Kazaa for me to feel comfortable...I work at a college where most of our students spend a lot of time, effort, and money to fix their computers after using sites such as Kazaa.

In response to your comments about .99 songs adding up to $700 worth of music:
How many times have we ''old folks'' purchased cd's or cassettes because there was one or two good songs on the whole album. I like to think of it like this: I would rather spend .99 (.89 at for a single song, than to buy the whole album for $15 - $20 dollars. Now I simply download the songs I want; if they haven't been release, I wait.

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by cattluvver / May 16, 2005 12:22 PM PDT

I agree with you totally. After two horrid (and I should know better then to have even tried!) experiences with horrid Kaaza *and* horrid LimeWire, I'm rather pay for the song. And it's like you said, I can think of so many times I've plopped down $15.00 of more and only liked four songs. I'd rather pay $4.00 for the four songs!

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If the song you're interested hasn't been released
by mrketchfish / June 21, 2005 7:31 AM PDT

You always have the option of running a search for the artist's website. Almost all current acts and most that have had releases in the past 25 years have one. Then you can ask the artist themselves or their repesentative where you can get the song or cd legally. The responses I've gotten ranged from them sending me an mp3 file or a url where it's legally available for free, referral to a rare record store, an offer to sell me the cd I want with the artist's autograph thrown in for free to the artist wishing me luck with my search and asking me to let them know when I find it because they don't have a copy themselves.

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by tcharon / July 9, 2005 2:43 AM PDT
In reply to: What About Limeware?

I too find it frustrating to locate a lot of specific music types on the 'legal' download services, i.e. napster, itunes, rhapsody ad infinitum.
I punched in the tune 'some of shelly's blues' a popular bluegrass cut by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band,recorded in 1970, to napster, and itunes. I found all kinds of nitty gritty dirt band songs, but 'some of shelly's blues' was not available - for whatever reason.
I downloaded the WinMX service one night, just for the heck of it, and entered the song title. In less than 5 minutes I had downloaded a perfect copy of 'some of shelly's blues.'
I gladly would have paid the 99 cents for that song - or for many others - on any of the 'legal' services, but they just don't got what I need or want. I mean, Billboard's Top 100 of the last 30 years just don't cut it.
That's why I find the p2p so appealing. The selection seems truly unlimited. You just have to be patient and thorough.
I'm not just trying to save money or avoid paying for something.
Additionally, I was under the impression that the legality issues stem from the 'sharing' aspect. If you don't 'share' the file, it's not illegal to download it for your personal use. Consumer Reports magazine and the University of Chicago recommend disabling the sharing component of the p2p application to ensure that you or someone using your computer don't inadvertently share a file and subsequently commit a illegal act.
They even recommend just making sure that the 'sharing folder' remains empty.

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by fmetrol / May 5, 2005 11:58 PM PDT

1. Everyone knows there is illegal stuff to download.
2. Everyone downloads it.
3. Yes there are occassional viruses but if you download the illegal stuff that catches viruses ....
4. Yes it has all the bloatware you can shake a stick at but that's a small price to pay.
5. You need a fast connection, one that works.

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Not everyone
by mpmacal / May 8, 2005 4:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Answer

Not everyone downloads illegal music and movies.

Not everyone thinks it is worth it to take a well-oiled machine and screw it up. (I'd much rather layout $10>$15 for a CD than ruin a $3,000 machine).

Bloatware is not acceptable since some people actually use the computer to do work. Having my machine labor through a database is not acceptable.

You pay for a fast connection, but do all of the P2P users pay rent on that connection? Do all of the spyware hosts pay a fee for using your bandwidth to steal your IP info and use your machine as a spam server?

Most people who do think that it IS worth it, use the PC as a toy. It is great for on-line gaming and chat. I am not putting that use down. The home computer is as much a social communication device as the telephone, but before you give advice, keep in mind that there are folk who actually rely on the home computer for work as well as play.

If you use your machine for on-line banking, on-line purchases, or connection to a VPN at work, and insist on downloading, "free" music, you are hurting yourself.
* stolen bandwidth
* stolen passwords
* stolen account numbers
* stolen identity
Maybe that is the price of stealing music.

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P2P suggestion
by cesareDH / May 6, 2005 12:30 AM PDT

After years of xperimenting with different P2P software, I've found ARES to be the best/safest. That's speaking for the program itself, not for the files you download. Those files are Russian roulette.

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by skippyd333 / May 6, 2005 11:50 AM PDT
In reply to: P2P suggestion

Areslite is spyware and ad free. All music and movies are without viruses. If looking for software just don't download a file that shows a question mark and it say software, NOT "OTHER". These are always viruses. A good rule is anytime you download anything. Make a folder to save it to, then scan the folder with your antivirus before opening.

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by Mark2210 / May 6, 2005 12:34 AM PDT

The long and short of it is. If you download a copyrighted file over a p2p network that you do not already own. Is not shareware or freeware authorised for p2p distribution. Or have express permission from the copyright owner to download over p2p then its probably illigal.

Dont use kazza though, it has loads of adware spyware that gose with it and can screw up your machine. kazza can also get you in trouble with the law. kazza users are traceable via kazza servers. This leaves its users vunerable when the RIAA wants to see whos got what on the kaza network.

The p2p popularity is the natural backlash for big business charging the public over inflated prices for media, (most of the traffic is for music and video files.) People realise the cost of cd or dvd disk is in pennys. the profits generated are huge for these companys when you consider the end retail price! The concept of free sharing is tempting to people, who in the past have copyed vinal onto tape for their mates or in the car, recorded a film from the tv onto video or tape recoded from the radio. The industry was caught out by technology on this one. Their responce? "digital rights manegement". Early forms where on cd's. they would not play in pcs and car stereos???!! The advent of legal dowload sites has now allowed the industry to cash in on the tecnology, They have been a bit slow to catch on in the first place!! The product is at a discount. In the uk downloads have overtaken shop sales for music!
The desision to dowload media is a thing for the concience. Is it ok to copy media for free from a p2p network? Or is it ok to charge

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Ethical answer
by eric90230 / May 7, 2005 6:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Answer

>> The p2p popularity is the natural backlash for big business charging the public over inflated prices for media <<

Nonsense. ?Over inflated prices?? Totally subjective, opinion, illegitimate excuse. If I think something is too expensive, it doesn?t mean it?s okay for me to steal it. And if I can?t afford to buy something, that doesn?t mean I deserve a free copy of it.

>> People realise the cost of cd or dvd disk is in pennys. <<

Oh, the old ?cost determines price? theory. Wrong-o. Shall we determine the price of going to work (gasoline to drive there, wear and tear on the car and on clothes and on shoes, etc.), and then determine that wages ?should? be a few pennies more than that? Nonsense again.

Nobody's perfect. I have downloaded music files in the past, but I never claimed it was ethical. Now I pay as go.

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and thus you become sheep
by imkain / March 17, 2006 12:54 AM PST
In reply to: Ethical answer

People are worth more than companies wish to pay. Do you like just getting by, or would you like to keep 75% of your income and not have to spend the most of it on bills. You my friend have become a sheep of society. P2P is more of a rebellion than a immoral decision of stealing. It is the online communites way of telling big business that their time is up.

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get real
by MichaelF / March 17, 2006 10:30 AM PST

Your analogy has knobs on it. Nothing on peer to peer is a necessity, they are all luxury items. They are not regular bills that put a roof over your head or food in your mouth. You cannot use the 'I am starving because society is corrupt so it is ok to steal' argument.

All you are trying to do is to provide twisted pathetic justification for doing the wrong thing. Admit it and you will feel better for it.


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nothing is wrong in my eyes
by imkain / March 18, 2006 1:47 PM PST
In reply to: get real

You see again you think I have morals...I don' when you can admit that there are more people like me in the world, than maybe you can sleep better at night. Unfortunately if you haven't noticed each generation after me could care less about this society and the people in it...they act similar to the baby boomers who are suffering middle aged burn out. :). Just keep watching, because society is about to get worse when my generation becomes of presidential age ;).

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do you work for the riaa??
by Mark2210 / January 7, 2007 4:21 PM PST
In reply to: Ethical answer

do you work for the riaa??

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answer to Tim M "human genome"
by jonah jones / May 6, 2005 1:05 AM PDT
Don't look for a paper on the human genome project on PtP

sequence and genome analysis
chromosome the genome project
mathamatics of the genome
hidden markov models
initial sequencing and analysis of
genetics genome intro
understanding the ...
unseen ge....
beyond the ge....
human genome and the creationist view

you were saying?...

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But is it really human genome?
by tlmurray / May 8, 2005 7:58 AM PDT

I get your point. But what percent of all traffic is not movies, music, porn, or nefarious material; and, what does the novice do who sees an .exe file that is supposed to open in to a DNA screensaver? Download it and hope the antivirus software works?

My point still stands: Don't -- meaning, it is not smart -- to look for academic material on PtP.

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stop using p2p...
by elmuchachos / May 6, 2005 4:36 AM PDT

I used to use kazaa and kazaa lite for matter how safe you are...there are still tons of programs and viruses that get on the computer...I have since stopped using kazaa and I reformatted the entire main hd to clear everything and start over...I now use news servers to dl anything I am looking for...maybe you should look into that idea because it is safe and all the legalities...I have been using it for some time now and I am virus and adware free....

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news servers
by Jsmith36991 / May 6, 2005 1:08 PM PDT
In reply to: stop using p2p...

how can I do that, can you walk me through it?

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P2P question
by sb909s / May 8, 2005 7:02 AM PDT
In reply to: stop using p2p...

I was just wondering if anyone has any SAFE suggestions as to website to download music..I understand that P2P is unsafe so what are my other options?

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help with news servers
by magogami / October 7, 2006 11:57 AM PDT
In reply to: stop using p2p...

how do you download things through the news servers you were talking about?

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Don't do it
by ski-the-edge / May 6, 2005 5:30 AM PDT

I owned a computer support biz for quite a few years. The most messed up computers I ever dealt with had been hosed by KaZAA. There are plenty of comments to this effect, so I won't expain what happened. I will say that it was often cheaper to replace than fix them. Also, you are stealing from the artist. If you don't like the price of their music, don't buy it. But don't steal it; it's just plain wrong, get it? Besides, you may very likely wind up with a computer so trashed that you will have to replace it and if you try and copy the data from the old one, you'll destroy your new one.

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by strickjh2005 / May 6, 2005 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Don't do it

Not if you use an anti virus prog.

So yeah, how in the hell is a reformat and reinstall of windows more expensive than a new comp?

What the hell are you shoving down the throats of these people? lol.

btw, F the Riaa

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