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Kazaa Becomes Legal Service

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File-sharing site Kazaa will become a legal music download service following a series of high profile legal battles.

The peer-to-peer network has also agreed to pay $100m (53m) in damages to the record industry.

The announcement follows the release of a music industry report that says more than 20 billion music tracks have been downloaded illegally in the last year.

File sharing and music piracy are key factors in the recent decline in record sales, according to the music business.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI) estimates that 20 billion music tracks have been downloadedThe annual study also estimates that 1.2 billion fake CDs were sold in 2005. IFPI calculates that the global traffic in illegal CDs is worth $4.5 billion (2.4 billion), down $100m from 2004. The IFPI say the legitimate download market now consists of over 360 sites offering three million tracks for download. The legal download market last year was worth $1.1 billion globally.

One in three music discs sold worldwide is an illegal copy, creating a US$4.6 billion music pirate market that destroys jobs, kills investment and funds organized crime. A total of 1.2 billion pirate music discs were sold in 2004 – 34% of all discs sold worldwide

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Praneeth is the author of the “Digital Media News Portal” with special focus on India.

Kazaa Becomes Legal Service
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