Salon: Did AOL eat Gnutella for lunch?

Nullsoft’s engineers released a Napster clone without
America Online’s permission. The media got a peek and then the site
was gone….

“You may recall that Nullsoft, a geeky and talented group of
programmers from Arizona who conceived both the Winamp MP3 player
and Shoutcast, was purchased last summer by AOL. Justin Frankel,
the wunderkind founder of Nullsoft and reticent icon of the geek
world, is now estimated by the Wall Street Journal to be worth $70
million. Since the company disappeared behind the iron curtain of
AOL, however, the world has heard not a peep about Frankel and
company’s current projects.”

“The mystery appeared solved Tuesday, however, when the quiet
alpha release of Gnutella on a back page of the Nullsoft Web site
turned into a full-fledged media storm. Gnutella is apparently a
type of file-sharing software, inspired by Napster, which allows
users to exchange everything from MP3 files to digital movies to
“recipes” (as product manager Tom Pepper speculated in the Wall
Street Journal). Apparently, the software was intended to resolve
some of the bandwidth-hogging issues that have spurred many
universities to ban Napster….”