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CNET News.com: Programmers help "Napster" clones take off

Apr 11, 2000, 07:31 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland)

"This morning, a new portal launched that aims to assemble the open-source programming community's work on Gnutella, a popular piece of file-swapping software capable of turning anyone with a computer into a music pirate. Gnutella is similar to online music-sharing program Napster but allows anything in a digital format to be traded--from pirated MP3 music files to grandmothers' secret pie recipes."

"Started by a group of programmers at the America Online-owned Nullsoft, the Gnutella project was shut down after AOL discovered the "unauthorized" development effort. But before AOL's action, the software escaped into the wild, and programmers around the Net quickly began developing their own sets of "clones" that worked like the original."

"The growth of Gnutella raises the stakes yet again for the record industry, which already is fighting legal battles on several fronts against technologies it believes aid widespread online music piracy. Millions of illegal copies of songs are available online in the popular MP3 digital music format and are being traded every day--even among casual Internet surfers."

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