Kazaa launches premium service

The developers of P2P file sharing program Kazaa have launched a fee-carrying version of the software, in an effort to shake off...

The developers of P2P file sharing program Kazaa have launched a fee-carrying version of the software, in an effort to shake off Kazaa's reputation as a piracy haven and build a viable business around the software.

A $29.95 (£19) fee buys users a licence to Kazaa Plus, which is advertising-free and offers more advanced search and download options.

Kazaa owner Sharman Networks will continue distributing a free version of Kazaa, which is partially supported by pop-up and banner ads.

Kazaa Plus allows users to download files from up to 40 sources at once, doing away with the free version's eight-source restriction. It also includes enhanced virus protection and customer support via e-mail.

Kazaa remains one of the P2P services in the sights of governmental regulators and entertainment industry executives because of the file pirating its network enables.

A software update earlier this year enabled Sharman Networks to sell through Kazaa "premium" music, software and video files from professional content creators

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service

Read more on PC hardware