Brillian Digital has quietly attached its software to Kazaa
April 2, 2002 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Brillian Digital has quietly attached its software to Kazaa and plans to remotely "turn on" people’s PCs, welding them into a new network. CEO sez a pop-up box will give people a chance to turn it off. Users who've accept "terms of service" already distributed with Brilliant’s and Kazaa’s software are already agreeing to let their computers be used without any payment at all.
posted by ao4047 (25 comments total)
Useful scumware site here : From there, I went to and download their excellent freeware Ad-aware. No regular user of P2P should be without it. I regularly check my disk drive for crap software and manually remove it, but even so the software found 75(!) instances of scumware, and removed all of them. For every evil Brillian-type company, there are some great programmers to protect us. Thanks, Lavasoft!
posted by fellorwaspushed at 12:42 PM on April 2, 2002

This is a truly evil company.
They apparently created a plugin to view special 3d content (like the banners they create for others), which I bet is full of spyware as well. Look what they called that plugin (it's the underlined text, in quotes): They make it look like you have to agree to the IE message to ensure security, when it is actually a warning!

As for file sharing: Use WinMX.
posted by c3o at 12:44 PM on April 2, 2002

I just went to my WINNT folder and deleted the BDE folder there. That should get rid of their crapware.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 1:02 PM on April 2, 2002

Kazaa already won't run without cydoor installed and running, so I'm not running Kazaa anymore.

I found this out using the aforementioned Ad-Aware, of course.
posted by sauril at 1:14 PM on April 2, 2002

At the Web site I edit, we're starting to see a small uptick in the number of angry e-mails from people demanding to know why we're bombarding them with pop-ups (we in fact run just one pop-up, for one of our newsletters, and it has a cookie so you should only see it once every X months). In every case, it turns out the user had Kazaa on their hard drive (in a couple of cases, installed by their apparently file-mad kids). They use Lavasoft and boom, the pop-ups (and weird orange hyperlinks) go away.
posted by agaffin at 1:17 PM on April 2, 2002

Sorry for the second post, but it looks as if the version of Ad-Aware released last week does not find BDE. Make sure you update your data files.
posted by sauril at 1:21 PM on April 2, 2002

Let us regulate file sharing they said. Just give us a tiny bit of money. A tuppance for every 100MB. It'll be just the same, but better organized they said. Everyone will be happy they said.

WHY ARE COMPANIES SUCH ASSHOLES?? It's like every other post is about some company treating people like idiots or sheep or both. I believe capitalism needs to be regulated to ensure that the only edge a company can gain over another is with an advantage to the consumer. That's how it is supposed to work. Hell, even Microsoft is generally okay next to Verisign or these people. At least their (non operating system) products beat most other products out there.
posted by Settle at 1:23 PM on April 2, 2002

There's an instruction on how to remove the "Brilliant Digital Projector", that 3D plugin thing, which KaZaA apparently also silently installs - it's simple to uninstall. Whether or not that removes the peer-to-peer thing I do not know.
The same website also offers an online parasite check for IE, by the way.
posted by c3o at 1:32 PM on April 2, 2002

For the benefit of those who haven't already seen it, here's how to run grokster without any spyware.
posted by gd779 at 1:44 PM on April 2, 2002

How do you get updated reference files for AdAware?
posted by wibbler at 1:44 PM on April 2, 2002

P2P - LimeWire... they tell you what you're getting... and they offer a ad-free, scumware version free version for a low cost.
posted by benjh at 1:48 PM on April 2, 2002

I use "Kazaa lite" which does not have any adware in it, and uses a dummy .DLL file for Cydoor.
posted by Maxor at 1:52 PM on April 2, 2002

This is crime, pure and simple. They should be charged for theft.
posted by tomorama at 2:19 PM on April 2, 2002

wibbler, the updated ref files should be on their website. Unfortunately I can't reach it at the moment.
posted by sauril at 2:34 PM on April 2, 2002

c3o, I thought about giving WinMX a go, but it looks like the support is kind of spotty. The discussions I read on did not sound encouraging.
posted by alumshubby at 2:42 PM on April 2, 2002

It's a Good Thing for the company that this story broke on April 1. Most people I know thought it was fake. Yet another reason why news sites and news blogs should not post fake news. Even my mother was e-mailing me about a Washington Post story (on another subject) wondering if it were true. Today's news is too strange. We don't need fake news, even if only once a year.
posted by fleener at 3:04 PM on April 2, 2002

Besides the whole thing with adware, etc., there's another issue I think. If you read what Brillian plans to do, it sounds to me like they will start serving up ads from anywhere on 'their' P2P network, so it'll be almost impossible to block ads from appearing, since you can no longer predict where the ads will be served from. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 3:35 PM on April 2, 2002

There is (somewhere) a version of limewire that is both free and without ads. I believe it's called CleanLimewire.
Also Gnucleus seems to work.
A newer thing to come along is The Circle.
posted by davidgentle at 6:52 PM on April 2, 2002

For those who want to experience irony at its best search for KaZaA Lite on your fav p2p [mine was KaZaA]. This is a slimmed down version of KaZaA that has been de-clawed and with an empty .dll for cydoor and no auto download. There is presently about 2 dozen floating in the system at any time.

Good luck
posted by plemeljr at 9:28 PM on April 2, 2002
posted by Maxor at 5:57 AM on April 3, 2002

there's a crack for Kazaa out there that patches the exe to allow it to run without cydoor and/or the other required spyware.. works well in win2k, but seems to cause problems on winme.
posted by iamjacksamnesia at 6:18 AM on April 3, 2002

With regard to removing B3D from your computer...I spent about a half an hour removing it from mine yesterday. It didn't show up in my add/remove programs control panel, so I searched for the uninstall file file and found it in c:\winnt\bde. The file was called bde_clean, and I ran it, and it removed everything in that directory.

However, when I went back to the BDE site, it automatically started to install itself again. So next I found some DLL's in the \winnt\system directory (their names all started with bde), and removed those. Went back to the site, and it still installed the player without asking me.

Then I did a registry search for the string "BDE", and removed around 30 keys in the registry. Finally, I went back to the BDE site and it prompted me with the standard certificate dialog to install and run the player. There is really some evil software out there these days.
posted by mfbridges at 10:20 AM on April 3, 2002

mfb, do you know where you got BDE from? I've not seen a version that doesn't uninstall from Add/Remove Programs, so I'd like to work out exactly what to do in this case.

(the page about BDE and the online check site thingy linked above is the one I run, y'see. Would like to keep the info accurate...)
posted by BobInce at 3:17 PM on April 3, 2002

Bob--I installed it from BDE's site, not from Kazaa...I think I just did the "Install and Run" when I clicked on the cameron diaz thing. I'm running win2k.

Just curious...when you uninstall it from add/remove programs and go back to the site, and click on the banner, does the player automatically reinstall itself, or does it prompt you with the "Install and Run" dialog again?
posted by mfbridges at 7:42 AM on April 4, 2002

Thanks for the Kazaa Lite info, plemeljr... it's a bit of work to remove the BDE stuff, but once you do, Kazaaa Lite works just fine.
posted by fahfooh at 10:42 AM on April 5, 2002

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