ZDNet: New program mimics Napster

“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

“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.”