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ZDNet: Gnutella ignites porn, pirate worries

“It could undermine the influence of every search engine and
every Web portal. It’s the biggest thorn yet in the side of record
companies worried about the spread of pirated music on the Net. And
it’s the easiest way yet to trade pornography, even illegal child
porn, over the Internet. For a piece of software that lived for
less than 24 hours on its home page, Gnutella has created quite a
stir.”

“It’s the stuff of classic Internet lore. A team of programmers
from inside America Online (NYSE: AOL) released Gnutella on a Web
page March 14. The program is at its core a simple way of trading
files, including pirated copyrighted material, without requiring
participants to connect with any central computer. This means that,
unlike its music-swap-meet cousin Napster, it’s virtually
impossible to stop.”

“But the genie was out of the bottle. Nathan Moinvaziri was one
of a few hundred Net users who had downloaded the program. He set
up a Web site, posted the software, and soon it had been reverse
engineered.”

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