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Q: how did KaZaA kick Morpheus users off of their peer-to-peer network (roughly)? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: how did KaZaA kick Morpheus users off of their peer-to-peer network (roughly)?
Category: Computers
Asked by: bennetthaselton-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 03 Jun 2003 04:18 PDT
Expires: 03 Jul 2003 04:18 PDT
Question ID: 212376
I read in several articles e.g. at
that both KaZaA and Morpheus used to be able to connect to the same
peer-to-peer file-sharing network, the FastTrack Network, until KaZaA
did something to shut Morpheus users out.

I'm trying to understand how the FastTrack Network works and hence how
KaZaA, simply by releasing a new version of the KaZaA FastTrack
client, would have been able to shut out users of another FastTrack
client.  Does the Morpheus client identify itself in headers when it
contacts another FastTrack client (like a browser sends headers
identifying itself when contacting a Web server), and KaZaA's new
version simply refused to communicate with any client that sent those
headers?  I don't see any other way that they could have done it.

Was there ever a protocol spec released for the FastTrack network, to
enable other companies to write third-party FastTrack clients?  Or is
the protocol a closed protocol that has never been released to any
third party and never been completely reverse-engineered, and
StreamCast had to pay KaZaA to find out the specs for interfacing with
the FastTrack network, so that StreamCast could create the Morpheus

Subject: Re: how did KaZaA kick Morpheus users off of their peer-to-peer network (roughly)?
Answered By: sgtcory-ga on 03 Jun 2003 08:27 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello bennetthaselton,

You are definitely on the right track.

Q. I'm trying to understand how the FastTrack Network works?

The first thing to understand is that the FastTrack Network licenses
it Peer-to-Peer technology. In doing so, they offer their product for
a fee, and the network remains a closed protocol. You can verify this
by cruising over to the Internet Archive and taking a peak at the
'old' official FastTrack website :

"The FastTrack P2P Stack has been proven as the industry leader in
distributed self-organizing peer-to-peer network technologies. Already
now Grokster, MusicCity and KaZaA are licensing our technology...."

FastTrack - What we Do

FastTrack Customer Benefits

Kazaa is a product of FastTrack, thus their ability to seemingly
'rule' the network. The Kazaa client itself does not affect access to
the network, as it's just another P2P application built for the
FastTrack network. They must have made other changes. (I will expand
on this in a moment)

To answer your initial question with regards to how the network works,
you can take a look at this informative article. It's very well
written :

The Fasttrack Network

Q. Does the Morpheus client identify itself in headers ....?

It certainly has to work in a similar fashion. Actually what is more
likely to be the case, is that Morpheus software is given permission
to access the FastTrack network of software/tools.

The FastTrack network does not store data files on central servers,
but there always has to be a 'hub' that can carry forward requests to
other computers. When making this request/connection, there are
numerous methods that can be employed. In this case it's probably a
unique request only given to subscribers of their technology. Since
the FastTrack site states that the search requests don't go through a
central server, this 'hub' is actually a number of networks -or better
yet our interconnected computers, using the file sharing application.

A great example is the Google API. It allows programmers to access
Google results, and use them in their programs. However, each request
has to be accompanied by a unique identifier. (In this case a Google
license key.) Without this key, your request will be denied. Without
ever having access to the FastTrack client interface, we can only
guess at the variables and requirements, but can almost definitely
come to the conclusion that this was indeed the case.

Q. I don't see any other way that they could have done it?

Seems fair enough to me too. The only options that seems remotely
feasible are:

1) Morpheus didn't pay it's bill, and was obligated to discontinue

2) FastTrack changed request methods, and forgot/didn't inform

3) Hacked. (Highly unlikely)

What really seems to have happened here can go much deeper that what
we see on the outside. With Morpheus was claiming minor technical
issues, and with floating RIAA scandal rumours, it's really hard to

Here's what the web has to say about what may have happend : - Morpheus Booted Off Fasttrack
"Shortly after the takeover, Morpheus users were excluded from the
decentralized network. How this was accomplished has not yet been
fully explained, but apparently it is related to the protocol changes
in V1.5, now maintained by Sharman"

Morpheus Still Down
"just a rift in the FastTrack network Morpheus shares with KaZaa and
Grokster that has literally pushed it off the network, sending

PC QUEST - Two-tier appraoch to search faster
"MusicCity (Morpheus) also had the license earlier but it was revoked
for non-payment of dues...."

Q. Was there ever a protocol spec ... third-party FastTrack clients?

Apparently not since it remained a closed protocol. The only three
clients that interface(d) with the FastTrack network are/were:


Morpheus looks to Gnutella for help

To summarize your last few questions, StreamCast did have to pay for
initial access to the network/protocol , and this gave them the
ability to create the interface with the Fasttrack network of

To assist with this answer, I searched using Google :

morpheus fasttrack

fasttrack network

I hope this clarifies the situation a little, although it has never
been fully understood. Should you need further clarification or more
resources, please do not hesitate to ask. I would love to be of
further assistance!

bennetthaselton-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
Very thorough answer; probably contains about all the information I needed.

Subject: Re: how did KaZaA kick Morpheus users off of their peer-to-peer network (roughly)?
From: sebisworld-ga on 05 Jun 2003 06:13 PDT
Apparently, the Fasttrack protocol is also encrypted, making it hard
for others to access it. Nonetheless, the popular Linux file-sharing
software 'mldonkey' can now access the Fasttrack network.

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