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NewsForge: eDonkey2000's Demise Illustrates Open Source's Problems in Community-Centric Computing

Oct 18, 2006, 17:15 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)


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"Somewhere on an old backup disc buried under a stack of magazines, I still have a copy of the eDonkey file-sharing client. Last month its creator, MetaMachine, agreed to give $30 million to the RIAA in order to duck threatened litigation. The eDonkey2000 Web site has since disappeared, replaced by a belligerent message intended to scare away visitors by implying that they are being watched. Why did eDonkey2000 fail in an arena where proprietary projects are still thriving?

"eDonkey2000 was one of the oldest still active peer-to-peer programs, predating the completely decentralized network model. Although it was Napster that blew open the door to P2P, eDonkey did popularize some features that proved important to later systems, such as identifying files by their MD4 hash, which served both as a file integrity check and as a fraud prevention measure, and the ed2k: URI scheme, which simplified searches by allowing users to link to files on the network from HTML pages..."

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