A leading service that attempts to dissuade users from downloading illegal copies of films and music is closing down because of a lack of business.
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Overpeer targets users of file-sharing networks such as Kazaa, and tries to put them off from downloading illegal files by showering file-sharing networks with content that does not deliver what was promised.
Typically, a user could spend hours downloading a copy of a new film, and end up with a file containing garbled data.
Overpeer is owned by Loudeye, which only bought the business last year. It is now closing the firm and is looking to sell its assets, which includes a huge bank of servers around the world.
The decision by a major Overpeer client to end its use of the service contributed to the decision to close the service. Another contributory factor was the availability of tools on file-sharing networks that allow users to rate files for other users once they have been downloaded, said Loudeye.
A further factor may have been the spread of ever-fasting broadband downloading speeds, which means users don’t have to wait so long to discover miss-leading files, enabling them to move on to others that may deliver what they want.