Morpheus (computer program)

Morpheus (computer program)

Infobox Software
name = Morpheus



caption =
developer = StreamCast Networks
released = ?
frequently_updated = yes
programming language = ?
operating system = Windows
language = ?
genre = P2P
license = Closed source
website = [http://www.morpheus.com/ Official Site]

Morpheus was a file sharing and searching peer to peer client for Microsoft Windows, developed and distributed by the company StreamCast, that originally used the OpenNAP protocol, but now supports many peer to peer protocols. On April 22, 2008 distributor StreamCast Networks filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy after a long legal battle with music companies, all of their employees have been layed off and the official download at www.morpheus.com is now longer available, though the website is still online.

History

On February 26 2002, all Morpheus clients suddenly stopped working when the FastTrack protocol was updated and Morpheus users no longer were allowed to log into the network. This was apparently because of a licensing dispute between StreamCast and the owners of FastTrack.

On March 2, 2003 a new, less-robust Morpheus client using the Gnutella network and the networking core from the Gnucleus servent was released. When challenged on their decision not to abide by the terms of the GPL, under which Gnucleus had been released, Morpheus switched to a very outdated Jtella core, and after the disputes had been worked out, Morpheus switched back to the Gnucleus core. Since then, the network core has been updated to include Gnutella2, and StreamCast has created their own network, 'NEOnet,' and has included support for MLDonkey plugins, allowing access to EDonkey Network, Overnet Network, and, once again, FastTrack.

In April 2003, Grokster and StreamCast (providers of the Morpheus P2P software) obtained a ruling by a Los Angeles federal court judge, Stephen Wilson, in its favor against the RIAA and the motion picture industry which stated that their file swapping software was not illegal.

On August 20 2003, the decision was appealed.

On August 17, 2004, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a partial ruling supporting Grokster and StreamCast. This appeal presents the question of whether distributors of peer-to-peer file-sharing computer networking software may be held contributorily or vicariously liable for copyright infringements by users. "Under the circumstances presented by this case, we conclude that the defendants are not liable for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement and affirm the district court's partial grant of summary judgment."

In December 2004, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case. Oral arguments began on 29 March 2005.

On June 4 2005, Streamcast Networks released a completely redesigned Morpheus 5.0. Connecting to NEO Network, Gnutella & Gnutella2, and with its lack of bundled software, Morpheus started to regain userbase.

On June 27 2005, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Morpheus and Grokster may be held accountable when their users pirate music. (See also MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.)

The latest version that supports unlimited downloads is 5.3.0. Versions after this are effectively restricted.

Download Restriction

Currently, Morpheus redirects a user attempting to download unauthorized copyrighted music and movie files to a site with purchase links for music.

Presence of Adware/Spyware

The current version of Morpheus, version 5.5.1 contains adware or spyware; no additional software is bundled with Morpheus. However, the Morpheus website states that the application does not contain spyware. When Morpheus is open and running, the interface contains online ads that support the application.

During installation, an optional peer-to-peer Morpheus Toolbar is offered. Both the Morpheus application and the Morpheus Toolbar are easily uninstalled with Windows Add/Remove Programs commands, however this is not the case with previous versions.

The previous version of Morpheus, version 5.3 does not install adware or spyware, but it does install some Desktop shortcuts to adware websites and the Morpheus Toolbar without user approval. The desktop shortcuts can be removed, however the toolbar cannot be removed via Windows Add/Remove Programs.

In popular culture

*Weird Al mentions Morpheus in Don't Download This Song.

External links

* [http://www.morpheus.com Morpheus Website]
* [http://www.morphies.net Morpheus 5.3.0]
* [http://www.streamcastnetworks.com Streamcast Networks]
* [http://www.neonetwork.com NEO Network]
* [http://www.morpheusforum.com Morpheus Forum]
* [http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster/ MGM v. Grokster case documents]
* [http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040823002045984 MGM v. Grokster Ninth Circuit oral argument transcript]
* [http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/5002/mgmday1.html MGM v Grokster Day 1] - Coverage from MP3 Newswire on the first day of the Supreme Court trial.
* " [http://shumans.com/p2p-business-models.pdf Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models] ". Ghosemajumder, Shuman. MIT Sloan School of Management, 2002.


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