Shortly after taking over Kazaa in late 2001, Sharman Networks began adding surreptitious spyware and adware to the installation files of the software, which they called Kazaa Media Desktop.
Despite the adware and spyware, users were reluctant to turn their back on Kazaa Media Desktop. It remained a superior program, due to fast transfer speeds and a wide range of content.
Shortly after, in April 2002, file sharers were rescued from computer slow downs, crashes and the invasion of privacy suffered after installing Kazaa. Kazaa Lite was born.
Three years later and eXeem is now touted as the hottest download of the year. Developed as a joint venture between Swarm Systems and the late SuprNova, the software promises to bring all the benefits of BitTorrent swarming, but without the use of problematic Torrent websites.
However, the software comes at a price. As part of the installation, there will be optional and compulsory adware installations.
?I made eXeem Lite because eXeem has Cydoor spyware that installs on your pc every time you start it up,? Dan told Slyck.
Dan, who did not wish to disclose his real name, is developing eXeem Lite in order to make a preemptive strike against eXeem?s potential mass scale invasion of privacy. The homepage of the project can be found at exlite.net.
Dan believes that ?Cydoor adware?with a cookie tracker and a banner? will be included in the full version of eXeem.
The optional adware will pose a further threat to new users, who are unlikely to receive a clear warning about any dangers of the additional files. The setup is expected to resemble Ares Galaxy, which gives users the chance to opt-out rather than opt-in. However, the full version has not yet been seen publicly, so may be safer than some file sharers fear.
Sloncek of SuprNova has been defensive of the adware included in eXeem, telling readers on the SuprNova Forums:
?What this Cydoor is going to do is, display the ads inside the program, just like the ads on the SuprNova.org have been right now. But nobody complained that they will not use the SuprNova.org, because it had ads on it. Well guys, those ads were Cydoor ads too. I would have not allowed this kind of ads being in the program, if I was not sure if they are safe!"
?There will NOT be any spyware or very annoying adware bundled with the software. You will have an option to also install sponsor toolbar inside would also include features for helping you use eXeem (searching through eXeem, your UP and DOWN speed, and similar funtions).?
Dan is not concerned about what Swarm Systems thinks of his software,
??any program that has any type of spyware is wrong so I am just doing my part,? he told Slyck.
The current version of the eXeem Lite removes Cydoor which is included in the private eXeem betas.
However, this release also circumvents a required serial key, giving access to what is essentially a private network. As such, it is not recommend.
In addition, users have also complained that the software is buggy.
Dan believes that an eXeem Lite based on the full version of eXeem will be available within one day of the public beta release.
Nsane Productions have also promised to launch a version of eXeem Lite in the future.
Swarm Systems are unlikely to sit by. To them, eXeem is an investment for which they want to be paid. Although eXeem Lite may help improve the quality of the sharers on the network, history has shown that copyright holders do not react kindly to groups who take away from their control.