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Friday, September 17, 2004

Legal sharing

If your child says s/he really wants to be able to share music with friends, and that's the whole reason for having Kazaa, BitTorrent, or Blubster on the family PC, there are wholly legal alternatives. One of the newest of these is Grouper, described in The Register. It allows you to share music, but just among a group of friends you sign up, and group members are streaming each other's music, which means you're listening to the music on the other's guy's hard drive, not even downloading it. Some kids might object to this because they then can't copy it to their MP3 player or burn it onto a CD, but maybe we can't have everything? And there's always iTunes, Napster, and other pay-per-tune sites - or the legal-but-free-music sites Jon lists above - for copying and burning. If you want to block file-sharing altogether, there's software for that now. A product called Blockster is now in beta and can be tested for free. For other such P2P-detection-and-blocking software, here are the results of a Google search for "block file-sharing." For more on all this, see today's issue of my newsletter.


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