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ZDNet: New program mimics Napster

Mar 15, 2000, 17:11 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lee Gomes)

"A group of software engineers who work for a unit of America Online Inc. has released an early version of a program that mimics the operation of Napster, popular Web software that allows for the free trading of music files, including pirated ones."

"The team, which was also responsible for one of the most popular MP3 players, called Winamp, which is widely used to play MP3 music files, released a preliminary version of 'Gnutella' yesterday. Immediate demand for the product was so great that the group was quickly forced to take it offline, lest its computers crash."

"Unlike Napster, which essentially runs on a single computer, Gnutella was written to run on many different machines, a decentralized approach that would make it much more difficult to shut down. The software is also written to make it difficult for network administrators to block. Napster has been such a hit on college campuses that many universities are banning the program because it is clogging up their computer networks."

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