Is there a conspiracy to flood the KaZaA file-sharing network with bad files?
In recent weeks, several Reg readers have told us of a growing pattern of 'looped', incomplete MP3 files (posing as full tracks) being offered for download on KaZaA.com. In other instances, songs are intentionally misnamed.
One reader had to download 63 tracks, and then sort through the salted and mislabelled files in order to successfully download all the songs from an album containing 12 songs.
A spokesperson for Sharman Networks, the firm behind the KaZaA service, told us it's had few complaints about the issue, nor has there been a disruption of the KaZaA Media Desktop software.
Although there are some posts about the problem on bulletin boards and on Usenet the issue is better described as an irritant rather than something more serious.
That said, some people feel strongly about the issue, and conspiracy theories are circulating that the Recording Industry Ass. Of America (RIAA), is trying to cause KaZaA to "implode with bad files".
The antipathy of the RIAA is well documented through numerous lawsuits and attempts to sponsor bills which would legalise hacking attacks by copyright holders against P2P.
Those laws haven't passed yet; and this, combined with our distrust of conspiracy theories, leads us elsewhere in the hunt for the P2P Saboteur.
It's a pissed-off rock star what's to blame. Our money is on Elton John, but others point the finger at Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Managing high speed servers passes the time between TV appearances, after all. ®