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Morpheus' downfall: Bills weren't paid

Thanks Gott for the heads up on this news. StreamCast Networks' delinquent licensing bills were to blame for the blackout of the hugely popular Morpheus file-swapping network last week, according to Dutch company Kazaa BV.

The Morpheus file-trading network, which drew more than a million people a day to trade movies, songs or software at its peak, went dark last Tuesday. Although it relaunched with new technology late Friday, the service is struggling to regain its footing.

In progressively more extreme statements, StreamCast Networks Chief Executive Steve Griffin has characterized the shutdown as an "attack" on his company and on the millions of people who used the Morpheus software. Bulletin and chat boards around the Web have been buzzing with conspiracy theories, ranging from a competitor's sabotage to plots by the record industry.

But in its first public statements since the blackout, Dutch company Kazaa BV, which provided StreamCast with its peer-to-peer technology, said there was a simple explanation.

"MusicCity (also known as StreamCast Networks) has failed to pay any amounts due to Kazaa BV under the parties' license agreement," Kazaa BV founder Niklas Zennstrom wrote in an e-mail to CNET News.com. "As a result of MusicCity's breach, Kazaa BV did not provide version 1.5 to MusicCity. Kazaa has also terminated MusicCity's license."

News source: C|Net

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