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Sahoko Takeuchi  FastTrack


Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 28, 2000 - FastTrack, a creator of wireless and Internet businesses, has today announced the launch of KaZaA (), a media search community.

"The media distribution industry is at the beginning of a transitional phase. We believe that most media content will be distributed digitally directly from the artist to the consumer in the near future. With KaZaA, we are creating a commercial framework that can provide a cost-effective distribution platform as well as facilitate a more direct interaction between artists and their audience," says Niklas Zennström, CEO and co-founder of FastTrack.

Napster has attracted 20 million users in less than one year - this clearly shows that there is a strong need for a direct person-to-person media-sharing service. Today a US court issued injunction against Napster, forcing it to remove all copyrighted content from its service.

"While we believe that the court is wrong to hold a distribution platform responsible for the actions of its users, we also believe that there is a need for a service with a broader scope and a built-in prepaid payment system that allows copyright-owners and content publishers to receive payment directly" says Niklas Zennström.

The first web-based version of KaZaA, which will be launched next week, lets people find music, movies, pictures, documents and applications, and download these directly to their computers. KaZaA works differently from traditional search engines such as Yahoo! and AltaVista, and produces much more relevant results for media content. Where traditional search engines search the World Wide Web, KaZaA searches tens of thousands of computers at once, all connected through a distributed peer-to-peer file-sharing network with no centralised server.

KaZaA will be available in nine languages - English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and Japanese. "We believe that there are local-specific needs for media content. KaZaA offers a more user-friendly, accurate and simpler search engine for media files that anybody can enjoy. We do not confuse the user with techno-jargon and complex interfaces," says Janus Friis, co-founder of FastTrack.

In September, KaZaA will launch a next-generation file sharing community application - a "Media Sharing Desktop" which will use a peer-to-peer file-sharing technology, improving on Napster and Gnutella technology. Proprietary content-description technology will allow users to find content with much more accuracy. The published content can be described in a way that makes it easy for community members to find it.

When KaZaA's Direct Payment system will be implemented, members - both individuals and established artists - can get paid directly for the content they publish.

Gnutella suffers from several inherent technical weaknesses, which KaZaA is addressing. "With Gnutella, search requests are being sent to all clients connected to the network, resulting in an excessive amount of network traffic congesting clients with narrow-bandwidth connections. KaZaA's SuperNode technology, a multi-layered distributed network topology, effectively solves this problem. In addition, where Gnutella does not scale well, KaZaA has been built from scratch to scale to millions of users. This new breed of peer-to-peer technology has the potential to change the Internet in a dramatic way not seen since the advent of web browsers. KaZaA is trying to invent the future of peer-to-peer technology," says Janus Friis.

About FastTrack

FastTrack ( is a privately held Amsterdam-based creator of wireless and Internet businesses, founded in April 2000 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. FastTrack conceives, implements and launches next-generation business concepts focusing on person-to-person communication and viral propagation.

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