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O'Reilly Network: Napster: Popular Program Raises Devilish Issues

May 17, 2000, 06:37 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Erik Nilsson)

"Napster shows no interest in the trademark issues that have roiled the DNS world, and has no quasi-judicial process to settle name disputes: The first mover gets the name. Even if you don't have a permanent IP address, you can still register on Napster and play, after a fashion."

"Napster's search engine searches this name space and links to files, all using proprietary protocols. Napster's chat service also uses this space...."

"There is a furious debate over how the DNS system will change in the future. Specifically, there are various plans to add TLDs, with various forces arguing that they should control these new TLDs. Napster makes real what up until now has mostly been a straw man in the DNS debate: The DNS needs the Internet, but the Internet does not need any particular name space. What happens if various entities create their own name spaces? Napster has unchained the dog, and it is one big, bad dog: proprietary, anonymous, and growing like mad."

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