Kazaa audience drops 41% in three months

— 4:35 AM on October 2, 2003

Wired is reporting that Kazaa's file sharing audience has dropped 41% over the last three months. Coincidentally, the RIAA unleashed its first wave of subpoenas against online song swappers a little over three months ago.

Of course, just because Kazaa's audience is decreasing doesn't mean that peer-to-peer music piracy is necessarily slowing down. Song swappers scared off Kazaa's network could easily be moving to Gnutella- and eDonkey-based P2P networks, or even to some of the smaller networks that are hovering below the RIAA's radar. While hardcore P2P pirates should be able to stay one step ahead of the RIAA by hopping from P2P network to P2P network, I suspect that many more casual pirates have given up on illegal song swapping altogether.

The RIAA's legal attacks have been heavily criticized, but in the end, they may make a significant dent in the number of casual music pirates on popular P2P networks.

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