CNET News.com: Programmers help “Napster” clones take off

“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
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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