Gnutella: Bad News For The Music Biz

And Napigator could extend Napster's life

The best article about Napster I've seen thus far ran in the New York Times on Wed., Feb. 14 in the Living Arts section. Jon Pareles laid out, quite eloquently, why a defeat for Napster is a defeat for the music business. Pareles thinks that when Napster users move on to an application such as Gnutella (which runs on a decentralized network of computers), they'll like what they find, and there's no company for the Recording Industry Association of America to sue. He notes that by using a version of Gnutella called "BearShare – GNUTELLA" you can access not only music but video clips and photographs. "When I typed 'Britney' into Napster," writes Pareles, "I gained access to all sorts of recordings: Britney Spears's hits, parodies of her songs, homemade collages and audio snippets like the temper tantrum she broadcast through an open microphone at the Rock in Rio festival. But BearShare, unlike Napster, doesn't just list MP3 files. BearShare also gives access to official video clips and photographs, news outtakes and pornographically doctored pinups, one certified as 'best fake on the Internet.' As it drives users from Napster, which has only traded music, to broader, more ungovernable file-swapping software, the recording business may wish it had quit fighting while it was behind." Over at called, a site with info about file sharing programs, I found this posting about a program called Napigator: "SO NAPIGATOR WILL MAKE NAPSTER WORK FOREVER? Well, maybe not forever, but Napigator WILL make Napster work for a long time after Napster is shut down. As long as there are networks such as 'Opennap' and 'MyNap' being hosted on computers, and by small companies around the world, Napigator will make sure that you can connect to them with Napster. We all know that the court process is VERY slow, so by the time they shut down ONE network, another one will no doubt rise in its place!" Very interesting. [Thursday, Feb. 15, 2001]

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