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America Online

AOL Snuffs Napster-Workalike Gnutella 465

K2 (and many others -- Thanks!) wrote with news about Gnutella: "Just when open-sourcing was becoming mainstream, they pull the plug on it. I just read this on Wired: Open-Source 'Napster' Shut Down. If anybody got the download yesterday, could you make it available somewhere? (That must be legal based on the licensing it was given away under.) Thanks." According to this article, Gnutella was "an unauthorized freelance project and the Web site that allowed access to the software has been taken down." Note also the media companies linked to AOL (Warner and EMI).Update: 03/16 03:01 by H :Check out our original story about it.
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AOL Snuffs Napster-Workalike Gnutella

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, it looks like this "open source" project is lost because the authors made a decision not to actually release the source code. They said they would release the code at version 1.0. But that looks like it will never come to pass. The moral is: Always release the source, because you might not have a second chance...
  • Such clauses are common in the business world, but having to sign such a clause just as a student is pretty harsh. Do you do work/study or some other actual work for the University?

    When I was interviewing to change jobs, lack of such a clause was one of the requirements I gave. I wouldn't accept a job that forced me to give up rights to stuff I did on my own time and equipment.

    ----
  • Hmm, u seem to forget who also reads slashdot. thats right - AOL guys (and I don't mean the subscribers).. - so your link unfortuntely, is dead..

  • Indeed - for all we know they could close source it, and roll some of the functionality in to AOL 5.x (or whatever version they're up to now).

    Could just be that they saw a commercial opportunity with one of the employee's code, rather than anything more "sinister".

    ...j
  • But some states have laws that invalidate such restrictions. I'm not sure if it applies to this situation or not, since I don't know the laws involved.

  • Don't some states have laws that invalidate some restrictions that companies like to put in their contracts? Isn't AOL located in VA? Does VA have such laws? Would any of those laws apply in this case?

  • I'd love to see something like this work, but how do you get (and keep!) the attention of enough people for a long enough period of time to make a real difference?

  • IANAL: Most companies have a clause in their employment contracts saying that any work developed whilst working for the company in company time is owned by the company....
    And the Copyright Act says (in Title 17 Section 101 of the US Code, available at URL http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/101.text.htm l ):
    A "work made for hire" is -
    1. a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or
    2. a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.
    IANAL either. However, the law clearly says that these clauses are illegal. If the work was a "free-lance" effort (as Wired says), then it fits neither of the Copyright Act criteria and the work belongs to the actual individuals who created it. AOL is full of BS.

  • What "Wah" probably means is that he's such a hooked up connected scr1pt1ng d00d that he only ever listens to MP3's.

    I hope his college sysadmin firewalls his ass out of mp3 land for good :)

    Are there *any* users using these napster clones on thier own payed for network, or are they all on college (or company) systems?
  • Transmitting anything except passive data -- that is, using a network like this to download programs, source, or even files you're editing in Emacs -- sounds like a really good way to get the trojan of the week faster than you ever could before..

    Daniel
  • IANAL:
    In all cases of contracts which contain clauses I don't want to accept, I strike out the clause (or modify it as needed), initial and date the alterations in the margin, sign the contract, and return the contract for the signature of the other party (which happens after my modifications, therefore they have had an opportunity to read what they are signing).

    I have been informed by people who are lawyers that this is quite acceptable and legally binding (upon signature of the other party) as it is a counter-offer (IANAL). I have never had anyone reject my modifications (although sometimes I have had to explain why I made them).

    Instances where I have made successful counter offers include [1] standard employment contracts from HR departments and [2] lease agreements.

    Remember: they are people just like you and everything is negotiable if you try.


    -- OpenSourcerers [opensourcerers.com]
  • My LORD.... tell you what... next time you make a knee-jerk assumption like that, be looking for a check from a record company.



    What do you have to gain by comming in here and saying crap like 'We all know its for pirating.' Sorry to dissapoint you, Mr. Holyer Than Thou... but I actually use it to disperse my friends OWN music that he makes. W/O glorious Napster and even the MP3 phenomenon, he wouldnt have gotten NEARLY the exposure if he had to rely on pressing his own expensive CDs or begging the big multi-billion dollar company that he was worth wasting their time.
    And guess what... he doesnt do it for freaking money either. He does it because he likes to do it.


    WHY CHARGE PEOPLE TO DOWNLOAD HIS MUSIC WHEN THE INTENT OF THE MUSIC ITSELF IS TO BE FREE!?

    This is just an example of why opensourcing this (to me) is a exellent thing.

    Thank you, good bye.

    And now for a shameless plug for my friend Denizen's band Magic Firesheep, who's been doing this kind of music for about 10 years.

    Magic Firesheep - Electronic/Trance [mp3s.com]
  • Yes. The moral of the story is:

    - if people might try to shut down your web site or block your program, make sure the source code is 'out there'. Making binary-only releases is taking a risk that the whole effort will be wasted, if the lawyers get to you in time.

    - ideally, make the code public domain (ie not copyrighted) so that there will not be legal problems with someone else picking up the code, you being forced to try 'revoking' a licence, etc.
  • 38.31.45.22:23

    --

  • I work for a tech company. And when I was hired, part of my emplyment agreement read:

    "I hereby agree that all inventions created during the term of my employment (whether or not on the company's premises or using the companies equipment and materials or during regular business hours) shall be a work-for-hire and shall be the sole and exclusive property of the company, and I hereby assign to the company all of my right, title, and interest in any and all such inventions."

    I'm not a developer, so this isn't all that restrictive to me, per se. But I would assume that Frankel, et al, signed something pretty similar when they sold off to AOL. It's alot of fun to demonize AOL as being jackbooted thugs, but it seems to me, that they are merely enforcing the terms of a contract that was entered into freely by both parties.

    When AOL gave away the bag of cash, for WinAmp, they weren't just buying the existing code, they also hired Justin, and expected further code from him, I'm sure. At this point, I'd say that this was an incredibly reckless thing for him to do, as not only does AOL likely have the authority to close down this project, but it could probably also be used as justification to terminate his employment, and he could be sued for money back that AOL paid for his company even. I sure hope all that doesn't happen, but I wouldn't be too suprised if it did.

    Fortunately, if AOL does do something like that, I'm sure that the Slashdot audience will react in a calm, thoughtful way to it.
  • I agree with you fully except for one point - information has never been a good to be bought or sold, it has always been free.

    It's not a good, but it hasn't "always been free".

    We can buy a book that the information is printed on, or a jewel case, liner notes, and cd that the music is recorded on, or a floppy disk that a computer program is written on. We buy and sell the physical media containing the information.

    No, you don't. In the case of software, you buy a license, which clearly costs more than the price of duplicating media. The payment is primarily to compensate the author. It seems only fair that the author, as well as the distributors, should be compensated.

    information is priceless

    The copyright system allows us to put a price on information -- the price is simply whatever the market is willing to pay. Moreover, someone can create information by spending (X) amount of capital. So it is clearly not priceless. You also assert that the only thing information is worth is more information. Well that's a nice theory, but there's an immediate consequence, and that is that creators of intellectual works should only be compensated in "information", and that they should forgo all material things, because their productivity has no material worth.

    A fisherman and a trapper ...

    What if the person who wants to use your information can not offer you information in return ? What if someone would rather pay for the information than offer some ? The reason why we abandoned the barter system is because a long time back, we worked out that we needed a common medium to trade with.

    You say yourself that information isn't free of cost. So how do you propose that the creators of intellectual works be compensated in the absence of a copyright system ?

  • This statement is analogous to:

    IMO, when you argue by analogy, you concede. An argument that requires an analogy is simply wrong. Moreover, an analogy does not constitute any kind of proof. For example, when I say "A group is like a ring, so the isomorphism theorems for rings are true for groups", I've explained how one could prove a theorem, but this hand wave should certainly not be mistaken for a proof.

    "Sure, you can try to rationalise it by saying "the big evil corporations are exploiting poor third world countries". If you really mean this, go give to charity or something"

    Even though I consider using an analogy itself an admission that you have no point, I will explain why I think your analogy is not applicable. My point is that the main reason people hold these opinions is expediency -- as some kind of retrospective rationalisation of unethical behaviour.

    Now I'd certainly agree that corporations should face up to their responsibility. However, I'd be sceptical of any protests against a corporation that seemed to be driven by expediency ( an example would be an anti-CocaCola movement who were primarily funded by pepsi and lead by people on Pepsi's payroll )

    Perhaps. But you still haven't proven't that someone is actually HURT by privacy. THAT should be your argument.

    What, you don't think no one is hurt by loss of sales ? I think it's self evident that widespread piracy will undermine any chance of selling anything. This is certainly the case in instances where copyright laws don't work ( for example, selling software in Japan is impossible, and selling typefaces in the US is equally imossible )

  • Firstly, the GPL itself is a license, and would be unenforceable if it were not for copyright protection. There have been cases where GPL authors had to enforce their copyrights against those who tried to commercially exploit their work ( for example, Jeremy Allison had someone try to rip off his SAMBA code ). Why should we abide by the GPL, but ignore other copyrights ?

    Secondly, I know a GPL program can be distributed anywhere. Unlike a lot of the slashdot leech kiddies, I've actually contributed free documentation and code, and I do not have any problem whatsoever with those who wish to redistribute my free documentation and code ... that is, as long as they abide by the terms of the (free) license. What does bother me, however, is when users abuse this "sharing" software and don't abide by the terms of their licenses, whether that license be the GPL, or a proprietary license.

  • If there were no copyright law, the GPL wouldn't be needed.

    WRONG. Just look at the slashdot kiddies getting up in arms, when someone recently violated the GPL ( John Carmack was the copyright holder ). In this instance, the guy was not selling it. To put it bluntly, It's free speech, not free beer. Imagine someone violates the GPL by not distributing the source code, and then they make the software require some key to use it. This is a clear exploitation and affront to the GPL that could take place in the absence of copyrights.

    [ snip : Copyrights and patents ]
    Copyrights and patents are not the same thing, if you're too ignorant to know the difference, don't bother debating the topic. I was NOT talking about patents, so you are either building straw men, or you are just ignorant.

    I can't tell you what the solution is,

    It's funny, that. The people who advocate vandalism of the copyright system don't have any solutions. To hell with solutions, as long as you can freeload, right ?

    100 years from now we will laugh at how silly we were to make the first infinite resource artificially

    Intellectual labor is not an "infinite resource". It costs nothing (or say epsilon) to distribute, but actually production cost is quite high. Since the production costs are incurred prior to sale, it's necessary to find some kind of distributed payment system ( since no individual customer can afford to hire the developer ). Copyrights address this issue quite well. I have doubts that any GOOD alternatives exist. The problem is this -- how do you construct a payment scheme that enables users to share costs ? And IMO, copyrights are the best answer.

    Try not to get caught in the rubble

    Are you trying to imply I have financial interests here ? FYI, I work for a University, and plan to for some time. I don't have financial interests, I am just put off by all the freeloaders.

  • Who's benefitting now? Your brain needs another washing, that first one left quite a bit of debris.

    If it really is in the artists interests to offer their music under some kind of shareware / demoware scheme, they will do this. However, it's certainly not for you to decide what is and what isn't good for the artist. Sharing is fine, but sharing should be voluntary.

  • is voluntary. If they don't want to share it, they make sure it's never recorded digitally. Seems pretty simple to me.

    Great. You're a professional musician, and you don't want to share it with everyone, so you don't record digitally. Who pays your bills now ? Are you trying to argue that musicians shouldn't be paid for writing and recording music ?

    And why should digital recording mandate sharing ?

  • Don't pull the "nature thing" out. Property itself is also un-natural, certainly not some kind of moral absolute. Ditto with intellectual work or property.

    The real problem that copyrights try to solve is this -- given software package (*), none of the users can afford to pay for the developers time. So there needs to be a way of sharing the costs. The way copyrights work is this -- developer (X) licenses software to uses. Developer (X)'s prices are constrained by competition from developers (Y) and (Z). The main thing that copyright laws do is attempt to stop people freeloading, ie everyone who uses the software is supposed to share the costs.

    by applying them

    Well frankly, even your supporters are lost on the meaning of this one.

  • Okay, then I guess we have a difference of opinion there - I always thought EULA's were a travesty, even if only because I couldn't negotiate different terms.

    You can "negotiate different terms" by taking your business to a different vendor. However, if all the vendors are using draconian terms, then it's a sign the vendors have too much power ( IMO, software vendors should be held to the same level of accountability as vendors of tangible goods )

    I believe we should respect the author's liscensing terms - by that I mean, if it's a restrictive, lawyer-trash liscense, don't use it.

    That sounds fair enough. BTW, does the GPL count (-; (I'm going to have to get Berkeley DB, because I can't link against GDBM )

    The system we have has major and obvious flaws, but at least it rewards artists. Well, what if we all become artists?

    I don't get your point. I don't think "we'll all become artists" any time soon.

    Remember the Slashdot Beanie 2000 awards?

    Yep. I wrote a HOWTO, some miscellaneous perl bits and pieces and contributed to vim ( an award winning project ). So -- where's my money ? This system is a nice way of rewarding and recognising volunteers, but can you honestly say that anyone would write free software for the money ?

    We will need a new system.

    Well, tell us when you have it.

    I'm a Libertarian, myself, so I trust in the free market to give us a solution.

    Well if the free market can give us a solution that's more efficient, then it will produce such a solution whether the copyright system is there or not. IMO, we won't find a better system.

  • I don't see the efficiency, all "artificial scarcity" does is provide a way for one entity to control supply, unless you think high price = efficient, if which case the current system is quite efficient.

    It's efficient in that the copyright model has been the only commercial viable model under which software has been developed and sold. I've yet to see another distribution model for software that is profitable for the developers as well as offering reasonable prices to consumers. Not really true because of current copyright law no other reason. Watch. I'm taking an MP3, copying it, again, again, again, again, and dangit it just keeps making the same thing. How is this not really true?

    Fine. You just keep copying those MP3s. But remember this -- copying MP3s does not get new songs written. Songs will not get written unless the artist has the means to achieve compensation. Copying is not productive creative activity, and compared to the cost/effort/skill required to create the work, copying is something a monkey could do.

    But it's not worth anything at all until there is a demand. So record companies spend a great deal of money creating demand.

    There is demand whether or not the record companies create it. Simply put, the public are prepared to pay to have those songs written. If they weren't prepared to pay, they obviously wouldn't be buying. So the question is not if the public are prepared to pay, but how should the costs be shared. The copyright system (usually) has everyone who owns a copy of the media paying an equal amount.

    The artist does not by default offer a valuable service.

    I disagree. Millions of dollars also disagrees with you. The public are prepared to pay for the artists services. As I've already said, the long term way to get the big companies out of the picture is have the artists set up their own smaller distribution networks.

    It just so happens that the music distrubution cost-of-entry barrier has been totally removed, and the only way to re-create it is with a police line.

    I have no objection to a low cost of entry. I only have objections to freeloading. When you say it's OK to freeload, you remove incentive to compensate the artist.

  • actly, that's why I pay for bandwidth and diskspace. It's my part of the cost in distrubuting and reproducing the music. That's why I don't think I should be forced to pay those costs again.

    As you and I have agreed on, the distribution costs are in fact minimal.

    On one side we have big companies using massive forces to create artificial scarcity,

    Like I said, the point of the so-called "artificial scarcity" is to provide an efficient means of cost-sharing. This is not just a "greedy megacopr" thing, it is about the right of the artist to be compensated for their creative work.

    and the other we have talented artists getting massive, free, personal distrubution.

    Well that's all well and good, but let the artist choose free distribution. No one has the right to force anyone else to share.

    Now unless you think that having 2,000,000 people singing your song and knowing your name is not a position from which you can recieve recompense,

    Whether or not it'd be a good position depends on the means by which you can recompense.

    And, because they have the copyright, anyone who tries to *profit* from their work should be prosecuted,

    Yes, but if you remove the laws that make the music industry profitable, that doesn't help much.

    go read the DMCA or UCITA to get a feel for this

    These cases are an example of the big corporations simply getting greedy. They are about protecting big companies. And making life harder for the little guy. But this in itself does not serve as evidence that we need to dispose of copyrights.

    This open model makes more sense to me,

    I can see why it makes sense for you -- it's a model under which you can get something for nothing, and circumvent your obligation to compensate the artist.

    seeing as how the products value in supply and demand terms is 0

    Again, not really true. The product is the song itself, not electronic or physical copies of the song.

    The artist is fully equipped and protected to use this goodwill to profit in any way possible, endorsements, selling cds, live shows.

    Yes, but apparently, you are saying that they shouldn't be payed to write and record the music. I consider this position absurd, because I believe that simply by producing the piece of music, the artist has already performed a valuable service, and is entitled to collect compensation ( the amount to be determined by the market ) without recourse to sideline activities.

    It's all well to say that they can make money doing something else, but this totally ignores the fact that what they have already done is worthy of compensation.

  • HOW does MY buying shareware fonts, however a good action it is and however little it will help, cause corporations to own up to their responsibility?

    My point is that if you really believe in compensating the artist, then you should do so, for example, by using typefaces you paid for instead of the usual knockoffs.

    I didn't realise you were advocating holding corporations accountable. I don't see how advocating large scale piracy and the dismantling of copyright helps to hold corporations to their duty to compensate the artist. As I've said before, the best way to get artists compensated is have them do their own distribution so that they won't be dependent on corporations. This will inevitably happen, it's only a matter of time.

    Wait a few minutes. Do you realize piracy and loss of sales are not equivalent?

    Not quite equivalent. I'd say piracy implies loss of sales beyond a certain point. Without copyright protection, sales will definitely be lost, because there is an economic disincentive to pay ( namely that you are not legally required to, and you loose money if you do ). Sure, the "piracy costs (X) figures" are inflated. However, it seems clear enough that in places like Japan, where the population has the money to purchase software, and the piracy rate is high, that real money is being lost. It is also interesting to note that the software industry is strongest in the pplaces that do have effective copyright protection. ( An interesting example: the US produce good software but most of the typeographers are in Europe. the US have good copyright protection on software, but not on typefaces )

    Are they so naive to assume that each and every person who obtained a pirated product would have actually BOUGHT the product if a pirated version were not available?

    No, I'm not. I am not assuming that everyone who pirates would have purchased a license. Let's turn that around -- are you saying that all of the people who pirate would not have purchased a license ? Now suppose you remove copyright altogether. Then noone will pay for software. However, it seems self evident that some of those would have if they were required to.

  • ... and that's exactly why Gnutella would be a good idea to replace napster. open source, open protocol, open extensions to all kinds of filetypes, not just mp3. if you're going to condemn this because it makes copyright violations easier, you might as well shutdown the whole web for the same reason.
  • Who cares, I know of AT LEAST two napster clones for GNOME. Look on freshmeat.net.
  • Well, it looks like this "open source" project is lost because the authors made a decision not to actually release the source code.

    There's nothing the open-source model does better than cloning software... especially cool software that's fun to use and fun to distribute. So don't moan any more - fire up your egcs and get to work. Shouldn't take too long for 3-4 guys to hack together a serviceable clone. The point is - now they've shown us what's good about the approach - that's the hard part. It's done. Just do it again.

    Ever lost a bunch of code you were working on (by overwriting a file or something) and get that really depressing "I just can't write that all over again" feeling? Well, and of course you did write it again, didn't you? And it took only 20% of the time to write it the second time, and you made a bunch of improvements on the way, didn't you? Well it's like that. The only hard part is getting started.

  • "Napster is currently being sued for billions of dollars by the Recording Industry Association of America, which complains that the software enables music piracy. AOL -- which is in the process of acquiring Time Warner, which in turn owns the record label Warner Music, which in turn is a charter member of the Recording Industry Association of America -- could hardly be pleased that one of its own was producing a similar software program. No wonder those roguish programmers kept Gnutella hidden from their corporate managers."

    This is what bothers me about the Salon article. They draw a conclusion that the only reason to not openly develop a program to version 0.48 is to HIDE it. Geesh. I'm fairly certain the author has NO clue as to what is going on and allready he/she/it is accusing those who wrote gnutella of undermining AOL. Is it possible to think that writing great tools for finding stuff on this GIANT network would possibly be a boon to AOL? I think it is.

    Just my $0.02, trash as you see fit.


    Bad Mojo
  • As a student at a university, I have had to sign away my rights to any software I might develop, whether using my own equipment at home, or the computers in uni.

    You shoulda picked a different university. You're the customer of the University as a student, not an employee or a subcontractor or a product or anything else that could vaguely be construed in a work-for-hire context. Any university that dares to try to put restrictions like that on its students deserves to be deserted en masse.



    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.

  • Actually, mirroring is probably perfectly safe from a financial standpoint. Realistically, you will have several opportunities to comply with any attempts by MegaCorp, Inc., to shut you down: an initial cease and desist lawyer letter, an injunction hearing subpoena, subsequent to the judge's granting injunction ... only after all these steps are taken will they really be able to sue you for damages. Particularly if you've taken the mirror down by that point, they'll have a hard time proving monetary damages. A jury might award them a token $1. Most likely they won't consider it worth going to trial. All they really want is for you to stop.

    In the meantime, there are other mirrors elsewhere, probably at places even more difficult for MegaCorp's legal arms to reach.
    ----
  • In most cases, anything a college student knocks up in their spare time isn't going to be worth making a fuss over.

    Yeah. Just look at Linux. Cooked up originally by a college student in his spare time. What a piece of crap that is ;-)

    Seriously, though, I wonder if the University of Helsinki had such a policy back in the early 90s, if this is a typical European policy.

  • If anyone's interested, I will be putting up a mirror sometime this weekend. E-mail me for more information (just remove the TINLC part...there is no lumber cartel. :)

  • The only reason the GPL exists is to protect itself from copyright law itself. If there were no copyright law, the GPL wouldn't be needed. If somebody "steals" your GPL'd "product" and "sells" it, they can only stop you from undercutting them by pasting their own copyright on it.

    In any case you are missing the point. Moving information around is inevitably going to be easier and easier. It has nothing to do with morality, or "natural" law, or any other mindless human construct. The fact of the matter is, up until recently, information could be treated like a limited resource. Copyrights and patents and other IP law were only a stop gap measure.

    The world is collapsing around you, and all you can bleat about is "pirates" (yes, they pillage and rape "your" precious ideas - sometimes for profit, and only because copyrights allow them to) and the failure of your precious intellectual property law kludges.

    Copyrights and patents are a government enforced monopoly, and anybody who claims they are part of a functioning free market is selling you something.

    Wake up, smell the coffee, and adjust. 100 years from now we will laugh at how silly we were to make the first infinite resource artificially limited simply to make it fit with our delusional concept of a durable consumable goods market.

    I can't tell you what the solution is, but the current structure is about to collapse under its own weight. Try not to get caught in the rubble. Work for a company that produces real goods and services and hires people to work on internal projects. Work for McDonalds. I don't care. But rest assured something has got to give, and retail software as we know it is inevitably doomed.

  • "deeply criminal purpose"??? Even if Napster and Gnutella are only for the bad guys, I find it laughable that you would call a bunch of kids trading music files "deeply criminal."

    You state that these products "deprive artists of...revenue." This is only true if mp3s affect people's buing habbits. While I don't doubt that there are people who will never buy CD's again, I can pretty honestly say that mp3's have not changed my buying habbits; and perhaps have even convinced me to buy CD's from artists that I would never have heard of before.

    It's SUCH a basic American concept: don't take away freedoms that COULD be abused, stop only the abuses. Napster is not illegal, nor should it be.

    Mike
  • I agree. Nullsoft's giveaway of the software would appear to be binding.

    I suspect the legal test would be whether Nullsoft had actual or apparent authority to do what it did.

    If it had actual authority to release this sort of software as GPL'd under its arrangements with AOL, the inquiry is over: the software's GPL'd (unless someone knows of some way to revoke the GPL? I haven't taken a look at it lately).

    Even if not, the software may still be GPL'd if Nullsoft had "apparent authority" to GPL it. (I.e., it's GPL'd unless someone not knowing the details of Nullsoft's arrangements with AOL would nevertheless have substantial reasons to believe that Nullsoft had no authority to do what it was doing. By way of example, the stereo salesman who gives you 50% off probably has apparent authority to give you that price, unless he suggests that you pay him in cash in the parking lot, in which case you have reason to suspect that he's not acting with authority from his boss.) Given that many corporations have released software under GPL-like licenses, it's hard to imagine that Nullsoft didn't have apparent authority to do what it did.

  • Put it up to SourceForge and lets get a project started.
  • Okay, after further investigation, I see the
    difference -- but then, Gnutella really
    *isn't* an open-source Napster clone; it's
    something else (possibly, as the Wired article suggest, more like FreeNet than Napster).

    --
  • What I don't understand is why people are so intent on parading Napster around as something it's clearly not.

    To combat the RIAA who are so intent on parading MP3 around as something it's not. It's a PR/marketing/perception battle at this point. See what happens in a political campaign when one candidate goes the total honest route and the other does politics as normal. In our imperfect world, I can you who will win 95% of the time. The RIAA has billions of dollars, friends with TV networks, radio, and AOL. We have lots of passionate people all with a little time to spare, some bandwidth, and this lil' techy toy called the Internet.
    --
    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
  • The copyright system allows us to put a price on information -- the price is simply whatever the market is willing to pay.

    you are familar with the concept of supply and demand right? As a way to determine value, eh? When supply is infinite, the price is.....?

    But wait, we have a new force involved. Law. So instead of working through a natural way to determine value, we back it up with a government. So yes, copyrighted digital works do have inherent value, but it's only as much as the enforcement is willing to make them worth. Are you following me here? When you use an unnatual system to determine price, it becomes more and more difficult to support that price, esp. when the natural price should be very close to zero. And even more difficult when the peasants realize it.

    So how do you propose that the creators of intellectual works be compensated in the absence of a copyright system ?

    By applying them. (note: this is not to say the copyright idea should be nixed, just a reply to a hypothetical)

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  • k, bitch.

    It sure would be tough for a college sysadmin to cut off my connection, since I pay $100/month for my own DSL line, in my apartment, which runs my server, over my router, through my firewall. So unless you can convice USWest that I'm sending bad packets, or get a court order, fuck right off. (note: this is not a Hackme contest, pleeeease..)

    If you want to listen to an increasing number of commercials (because there is no competition in radio, or network TV and both have been ramping up advertising "units" consistently for years) with an increasingly limited breadth of choices go for it. More power to you. I pay for my connection so I can make own choices, it's fun, empowering, and I wish everyone would do it too. And as soon as I get the time to hack Icecast to my liking, I'll have my OWN radio station.

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    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
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  • Like I said, the point of the so-called "artificial scarcity" is to provide an efficient means of cost-sharing.

    I don't see the efficiency, all "artificial scarcity" does is provide a way for one entity to control supply, unless you think high price = efficient, if which case the current system is quite efficient.

    Well that's all well and good, but let the artist choose free distribution. No one has the right to force anyone else to share.

    Yes, let them. Or they can try and fight it with lawyers. What I'm saying is that this situation already exists, to try and fight it is great, buy why do you want to? Oh yeah, control. The owners of the copyright (most likely not the artist) wants to create a market where they can get the most value on a per-unit basis, and then exploit that position. I don't want to support that model, now that I don't need it and the Internet has made it obsolete.

    Yes, but if you remove the laws that make the music industry profitable, that doesn't help much.

    The recording industry will still be profitable, people will still buy music, I still buy music. Why do you think music buying will stop? It hasn't for me. In fact it's gone up, because now, with a wide open competitive landscape, I can find the music I like, and listen to it enough until I really like it.

    These cases are an example of the big corporations simply getting greedy. They are about protecting big companies. And making life harder for the little guy.

    *cough* *Cough* *COUGH*

    can see why it makes sense for you -- it's a model under which you can get something for nothing, and circumvent your obligation to compensate the artist.

    So my paying for bandwidth, diskspace, time, and effort to promote an artist are of no value in your world? In mine they're roughly equivelent to the value of an infinite product. I know you don't think I should have that choice, but I do, until you get the vast Internet security mechanisms in place to stop it, or put enough digital pirates in jails for felonies to scare me aware, I'll still have that choice. Is that the culture you want?

    Again, not really true. The product is the song itself, not electronic or physical copies of the song.

    Not really true because of current copyright law no other reason. Watch. I'm taking an MP3, copying it, again, again, again, again, and dangit it just keeps making the same thing. How is this not really true?

    I consider this position absurd, because I believe that simply by producing the piece of music, the artist has already performed a valuable service, and is entitled to collect compensation ( the amount to be determined by the market ) without recourse to sideline activities.

    But it's not worth anything at all until there is a demand. So record companies spend a great deal of money creating demand. What I'm saying is that demand can be created by people on their own, word-of-napster, using their personally bought and paid for resources. The artist does not by default offer a valuable service. Go sit on a street corner and see how valuable being able to sing and play a guitar is. It's only be creating demand that they have any hope to make money. Currently this entire process is influenced to a frightening degree by the people who own the music, via big movie deals, radio-play, commercials, etc. (Mambo #5 which I heard on a Fox commercial before I heard the real song, waahoo artistic integrity at its finest), rather than those to listen to it. It's also very expensive, and so they *must* keep the music that way to support their model.

    It just so happens that the music distrubution cost-of-entry barrier has been totally removed, and the only way to re-create it is with a police line. So you can keep up the fight for an artistic profit center if you want, I'll just fight for good art.

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  • The main thing that copyright laws do is attempt to stop people freeloading, ie everyone who uses the software is supposed to share the costs.

    Exactly, that's why I pay for bandwidth and diskspace. It's my part of the cost in distrubuting and reproducing the music. That's why I don't think I should be forced to pay those costs again.

    And perhaps this is where my personal philosophy parts ways with others. I think art should be appreciated. We came up with the copyright system as a way to make sure artists could have their work protected. Fine, they need a way to say "Hey that's mine." and establish some type of ownership. I also think they should be the only ones to profit from such works. However, given the nature of the beast (the 'Net and all it can do) *everyone* can have a copy at no *cost* to the copyright owner. So we have a dilly of a pickle, and a fork in the road ahead of us.

    On the one side, we have a culture where 100,000 lawyers continue suing everyone is sight, hoping
    to control the uncontrollable, and on the other we have really great artists getting massive exposure because a whole lot of people (not just the radio stations they lobby or take to Bermuda) think they make great music. On one side we have big companies using massive forces to create artificial scarcity, and the other we have talented artists getting massive, free, personal distrubution. Now unless you think that having 2,000,000 people singing your song and knowing your name is not a position from which you can recieve recompense, the copyright owner will be compensated to a degree that they can continue to make good music. And, because they have the copyright, anyone who tries to *profit* from their work should be prosecuted, and the artist has the full force of an already bloated goverment behind them. Play fair, everyone's happy, don't and you'll regret it. I just think "fair" has gotten madly obscured (go read the DMCA or UCITA to get a feel for this) by those in a position to change the only thing that gives thier product any value protection at all, the law.

    This open model makes more sense to me, creating (and subsidizing) massive false scarcity in an effort to control the spread of art for profit doesn't.
    --
    by applying them

    to control, the original purpose of copyright, who gets to profit in $ (the stuff you need to live) from the protected work. Not who gets to use it. Which are now two completely separate things (seeing as how the products value in supply and demand terms is 0 and I am already paying for the minuscule reproduction and tramsmission costs). The artist is fully equipped and protected to use this goodwill to profit in any way possible, endorsements, selling cds, live shows. etc. (here's a post with more suggestions) [slashdot.org]

    So that's what I think.

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  • yes, the rules were relaxed quite a bit with deregualation. The rules now are based on a percentage of total revenue in a market, as well as a hard cap of 8 media outlets per market. That can now be 8 radio station, or any combo or radio and TV, with the upper limit of TV being 2.

    Clear Channel Communications (the number 1 in total ownership) recently bought AMFM (who used to be Chancellor) who was the #3 owner at the time. The #2 is CBS/Infinity. I think CC owns in the neighborhood of 800 stations and CBS is around 600.

    Massive cuts in programming are now practical as one DJ can run any number of stations. Playlists are also *roughly* standardized across highly departmentalized genres. By limiting playlists and cranking up repetition, they have made record companies very happy. The number of units sold per hour (minutes of commercials) has also steadily risen since deregualation, this is also true for television. Radio has about 15 units/hr and TV (at least the major networks) are pushing 18.

    hmmm, this is a few days late, no one will ever read it. Hi Mom!


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    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
  • I guess the folks at AOL have never heard of Pandora's Box, Huh?
  • I don't want to judge the tool here. You're right; Napster is probably one of, if not *the* best distributed file transfer network ever implemented on the Internet. It's certainly the most popular.

    Clearly users must take some responsibility here for pira^H^H^H^H sharing illegal media. Hell, I use Napster all the time. But I acknowledge the fact that I'm doing it, and recognize that this is the sole purpose of Napster; A distributed kernel network would, of course, not have this issue. I don't want to get rid of Napster, but I do want to see people admit that it's tool with really only one use. Granted it could be used for legal sharing, but the overwhelming truth is that it isn't.

    That's all I want -- to stop hearing people say that Napster is squeaky-clean just because it has the capacity to be used properly. Obviously this isn't something that is actually happening. So who's the bad guy here? Are we going to say "Hey, AOL is bad bad company because they wouldn't let those Nullsoft hackers further the proliferation of illegal music!"

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    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • A lot of people run around /. screaming "Moderation is a joke!", but the truth is that the moderation system (much like Napster!) is just a tool, and it's the users who are jokes.

    I think it's clear by now that anybody can get moderated up just by saying something that *sounds* good; If a post has a good vibe to it, it will be bumped up. Don't get me wrong -- I agreed with your point above, but I try not to take moderation seriously, and I always browse at -1.

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    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Oh come off it - Napster is used 99.999% of the time to download *illegal* music. Yeah, you could theoretically use it to distribute legal MP3s, but in practice it doesn't happen all that often. We're all very well aware of what Napster is for; you don't need to go spreading lies and propaganda to make yourself feel better about piracy... take a little responsibility for your actions.

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    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Fine - that was an observational hyperbole. 99.999% is not a scientifically based number, but let me document my estimate:

    I've spent quite a bit of time on and off college campuses in the last year and every single person I know, within the ages of 17 and 30, has some sort of Napster client on their PC. All of them. That's probably not a suprise to anyone though, since we all agree that Napster is incredibly popular.

    All these people that I just mentioned? They're using Napster to illegally download pirated songs, rather than purchase the CDs themselves. Is that a suprise? OF COURSE NOT! Hey, if you're the one person out there whose never used Napster to download a pirated song, then I profusely apologize. Since I would bet money that you aren't, I don't plan on making any apologies.

    Bottom line? Napster can have a use as a generic file transfer agent, but it doesn't. It's a tool built with the intention and purpose of sharing pirated music -- I love Napster, I use it everyday. But I don't lie to myself and others, trying to convince them that Napster is something that it's not.

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    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Yeah, it is a "good fucking point". FTP clients are not to blame for warez. They are generic programs that serve a general purpose: transferring files. It's incidental that they also can be used for illegal purposes. Same applies for Napster, right?

    Of course not! Napster is not "general purpose". Napster only shares MP3 files. Granted, not all MP3s are pirated media, but nearly 100% of the MP3s on Napster are. What I don't understand is why people are so intent on parading Napster around as something it's clearly not.

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    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • No no, there was another Java client; not QuickBuddy (which is a piece of garbage). You could download it and use it just like AIM, only you have to have a JDK on your system. It was really a decent application, and I always wished they'd release another version. Oh well, I just use GAIM now.

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    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • CrayDrygu wrote: "My immediate reaction, which I see someone else has also posted, was "What right does AOL have to say what Frankel can and can't work on in his off time?" Well, I don't know what kind of deal he signed with AOL, but there may very well be some sort of clause in there restricting this sort of thing."

    Unless Frankel got AOL to agree to a non-restrictive employment agreement when he was hired, probably every right.

    AOL, love it or hate it (with the choice among these being pretty easy), is a company with it's own goals, even if they're often short-sighted or constrictive. Programmers, to their credit, can and often do circumvent the officialdom of their workplaces to create new / better / fun software, and we all benefit. But it doesn't change AOL's right as contractural proprietor of software, or their right as a Web host to carry / deny any content they want.

    Sometimes businesses just act like they were run by Mr. Burns and Dilbert's boss. Think *super* long term, and this could turn out to be mark an inflection point in public opinion about AOL. They've just created some bad blood for themselves on one front (Free software folks / anyone who wants to use Gnutella) while racking up points on another (Warner, RIAA).

    timothy
  • Well, there is absolutely no reason why those artists can't post their music as shareware; but that shareware will have to be done on the honor system. Some software companies do well with this kind of system (take a look at ambrosiasoftware.com).

    Enhanced ID3 tags which contained information on how to contact an artist to pay a shareware fee might be a good idea...

    The point is that the old business models are going away; there is no way to make money by restricting the flow of information: information itself will no longer be a "good." to be bought or sold.

    Shareware fees would simply be a way of helping to support the production of the information that you like to get, much in the same way that one donates to the salvation army, or pay a tip.

    =)

    OOoohh...I like that, Tipping the musician for a good song I got online! Like a worldwide open mike night!

  • Not, say, if he developed it with some friends on the weekend. Can they prove he didn't? If he didn't develop it on the job, they can't touch him.
  • "Sure, you can try to rationalise it by saying "the big evil corporations get all the money and the artist doesn't get any". If you really mean this, go buy some shareware fonts or something --"

    This statement is analogous to:

    "Sure, you can try to rationalise it by saying "the big evil corporations are exploiting poor third world countries". If you really mean this, go give to charity or something"

    ...as a means of avoiding redress of big corporations. Yes, I will give to charity, but I will also demand big evil corporations to own up to /their/ responsibility also.

    "there are means of distribution that enable the artist to get compensation without a middleman intercepting all of the profits."

    Yes. One means is MP3, which the big media corporations would brainwash you into thinking is inherently bad and should be universally banned.

    "However, piracy is not one of them. The only people who benefit from piracy are the cheapskates who do the illegal copying."

    Perhaps. But you still haven't proven't that someone is actually HURT by privacy. THAT should be your argument.

  • "My point is that if you really believe in compensating the artist, then you should do so, for example, by using typefaces you paid for instead of the usual knockoffs."

    That is a point I also agree on, but doesn't address the issue. Not only should /I/ compensate artists, but the corporations who exploit them to an extent much greater than I possibly could, should /also/ compensate them fairly.

    "I didn't realise you were advocating holding corporations accountable. I don't see how advocating large scale piracy and the dismantling of copyright helps to hold corporations to their duty to compensate the artist."

    I don't advocate piracy. But I /also/ don't advocate corporations using their financial power and a dysfunctional legal system to bully and extinguish emerging markets, and infringing on peoples' [pre-established] freedoms in order to retain their de facto money making monopoly. Would we both agree that if ALL artists used a direct medium like MP3 they would be much better compensated?

    "As I've said before, the best way to get artists compensated is have them do their own distribution so that they won't be dependent on corporations. This will inevitably happen, it's only a matter of time."

    No, not if the corporations who see MP3 as a threat manage to stick the "MP3==EVIL" meme in peoples' heads and use their power to outlaw it.

    "However, it seems clear enough that in places like Japan, where the population has the money to purchase software, and the piracy rate is high, that real money is being lost."

    Yes, that may be the case. But I'd wager a guess that a lot, if not /most/ piracy, is done by people who either A) can't afford the software, or B) wouldn't buy it anyway, regardless of whether there was a pirated version.

    "No, I'm not. I am not assuming that everyone who pirates would have purchased a license. Let's turn that around -- are you saying that all of the people who pirate would not have purchased a license?"

    No, but I'm saying many would not. Ask around here on Slashdot and find out how many people have actually bought CDs BECAUSE of mp3 and how many people explicitly DIDN'T buy a CD BECAUSE they could obtain the MP3s (different from "wouldn't buy the CD at all, but MP3s are nice freebies").
  • Of course I don't work for NullSoft, haven't written an insanely popular media player, or own Audies, but if I were Justin I would walk straight out of there (if I legally could). Pick up my sh*t and say, "well, it's been nice knowing you, G'DAY". Nullsoft/GNullSoft/Justin&Co. can go so far. They are really talented. They don't need to take this. Winamp was written to scratch an itch...if AOL won't let them scratch their itches, it is just not worth it.
  • "IMO, when you argue by analogy, you concede."

    If you say so. I have just seen way too many arguments that go like this:

    "Y is bad"
    "Hey, if Y is so bad why don't you do "

    Your statement is an example of such an argument:
    ""...the big evil corporations get all the money and the artist doesn't get any". If you really mean this, go buy some shareware fonts or something --"

    HOW does MY buying shareware fonts, however a good action it is and however little it will help, cause corporations to own up to their responsibility? My action of buying shareware fonts does not address that fact that corporations themselves are not doing the same. Another analogies, since you like them so much:

    "Evil corporations pollute so much"
    "Hey, why don't YOU stop littering?!"

    or

    "Country X is so racist!"
    "Hey, your country is also racist!"

    I believe this is a variant of an ad hominem attack...it is just shifting the focus of the argument.

    Me: "Perhaps. But you still haven't proven't that someone is actually HURT by privacy. THAT should be your argument."

    "What, you don't think no one is hurt by loss of sales ?"

    Wait a few minutes. Do you realize piracy and loss of sales are not equivalent? You are assuming they are equivalent. I call that. Prove it to me. This is another error of omission the big companies spread about. "X billion dollars of pirated product was sold!" Well, how much of that money would they really have seen? Are they so naive to assume that each and every person who obtained a pirated product would have actually BOUGHT the product if a pirated version were not available?
  • Well, so much for AOL being the kindly parent who was going to let its children go their own way. So much for the vision of the AOL-Netscape combination being a challanger to Microsoft. AOL is just another Microsoft now.

    If I were Justin I'd be mad pissed...I'd walk out. If you're out there Justin, I, and probably many others, will pay good money for your products (open source or not)...I've freeloaded enough...I guess this is what I get.

    Damn AOL bastards.
  • A storybook created by some guy off in the middle of nowhere that had too much time on his hands.

    You know, if you are trying to advocate skepticism or atheism, writing something this moronic isn't helpful. Obviously the Bible isn't "just a story book written by some guy" any more than the oral traditions of the American Indians or other tribal people are.

    I'm all for skepticism, but only informed skepticism is useful.

    Remember, just being an atheist doesn't necessarily make you intelligent. Try thinking about things before you write them.

  • Also... it's the truth according to who? You? A bunch of your conformist sheep? Well, I have some news for you. Just because you believe in something doesn't mean that it's the 'one true way'. Also, what if their *IS* no afterlife? Hm? You have no proof that any of this exists, so stop trying to force everyone to believe what you're saying.
    Gee, it seems to me that I remember saying something that you disagreed with on another thread, and you flamed me for it. Of course, here you are trying to portray yourself as a wonderfully tolerant and open minded person who wouldn't dream of spitting on someone who didn't happen to share your tastes in things. I happen to know that that isn't true, so why don't you just drop it. There's nother worse than someone who condemns intolerance and hypocracy when they are themselves and intolerant, narrow-mind hypocrit. I mean, I have no objection if that's the kind of person you want to be, but why try to pretend you are something else.

    In the words of Number 6, "Be seeing you."

    Nemo me impune lacessit

  • If it really is in the artists interests to offer their music under some kind of shareware / demoware scheme, they will do this. However, it's certainly not for you to decide what is and what isn't good for the artist. Sharing is fine, but sharing should be voluntary.
    Many artists do want to put out some of their songs in MP3 format and such but are unable to do so due to their contracts that they signed years ago with their record company...
  • Also gnapster [gotlinux.org] is my favorite client, list of a lot more if you query freshmeat for napster [freshmeat.net], and on the server side there's Opennap [sourceforge.net]

    ...rather than the one central Napster server

    The official napster servers are many, more than 10 and less than 1000... (someone wanna narrow it down?), and are not linked yet... so one central Napster server doesn't describe the structure well.

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    linuxisgood:~$ man woman
  • I have been using Gnutella for a few days now, and have to say that its a great product, unlike anything before it. People, please stop bitching about other Napster clones -- its really not comparable to Napster. After I started using Gnutella, I, like a good netcitizen tried to post on slashdot, which was of course a useless gesture, but I still tried. Now I'm quite glad I didn't make it. From what I can tell, the massive force behind slashdot basically caused the crumble of Gnutella. Why I think so:

    Before the article the gnut network was floating at about 80 hosts mark -- now its around 220. In the hours proceeding the ./ arcticle, the Gnullsoft server was doing fine -- then goes down in what Tom (member of (G)Nullsoft) described as [slashdot.org] from slashdotting.

    That being said, I know that sooner or later it would've probably gone down eventually, but slash certainly helped speed it up -- slash post, then Salon, Wired, C|net and any other online publisher jump it... now AOL is aware. Which may or may not have caused this more looming downtime. But maybe if Tom and Justin were given a little more time they could've talked to AOL more about their offshoot... now probably a pointless gesture, AOL on a whole doesn't seem to like being nipped in the butt.

    On other random tangents, I'll have to say the Gnutella was the first article to make me lose faith in the quality of slashdot. Hemos's opener was insulting, implying that the Nullsoft people had some agenda because they have been bought out. I'm as much against corperate mergers as the next guy, but when their are still independent positive movements coming out of one (Netscape, Nullsoft), at least support them. Stop the paranoia please. Also, the posts on slashdot from both of these articles have been rather disgraceful... the mod'ed up items have been either pastings of text from the old Gnullsoft site, or on this article file mirrors. Stupid.
  • They never released the source. Despite the "gnu" in the name, the beta version was Win32 binary-only. (They were planning on porting to Mac/Linux/etc. and GPLing once they got to 1.0)

    Of course, there are numerous open-source napster clones already out there, so it isn't such a huge loss.
  • A european hazelnut/choclate spread like peanut butter. I get mine from German relatives.. its great on toast and in cookies like peanut butter cookies. It tends to be a little greasier so you need to make the dough drier or the cookies will spread when you bake em.

  • What happened to finger:justin@nullsoft.com? I can't even resolve nullsoft.com anymore.

    Justin used to put cool rants up there all the time, along with information about his progress adding features to and debugging Winamp.

    --

  • So it's a bug, or a race condition, or whatever.

    People who run mirros deserve a little extra credit on occasion :-)

  • I've got a copy of it, and I've been using it regularly. It's much smaller and neater than the real napster.

    If anyone has a place to post it, I've got a copy.
  • scratch that, they're back up and running again.
  • It won't do you any good to have the file. The servers that it connects to are down, and it won't connect to any of the regular napster servers anyway. I tried using a whole bunch of servers listed in napigator with no luck.

  • Will someone please put up a server on port 1080? We have a firewall at work and it'd be nice to circumvent it.
  • Well that's interesting considering that this post is currently moderated with an "interesting" flag but oh well.

    Despite everything people here on Slashdot know about the real world they still insist that applications like these are a good thing despite the deeply criminal purpose which they are intended for. I mean in theory you can say "Oh
    Napster's just for sharing MP3s that you own the rights to" but let's face it, the sole true purpose of Napster is to trade illegal MP3s. Knowing just how popular illegal MP3s are, the creators of Napster devised a program which would
    allow, even promote, the rape of the music industry and the artists they represent. Every time you use Napster you are taking money away from people that have put their time and effort into creating a piece of art which enriches the
    world.


    Well I knew absolutely nothing about this concept a few months ago and I might have agreed with you then. However I took the time to look at slashdot and think about things.

    People who actually make the music are in fact not getting a decent cut of the profits. The people who are loosing the money are not the people who are the starving musicians and their cats. They are people like good ol' Jack Vallenti who are rolling in dough.

    Now I don't pretent to make a case for stealing from the rich however if you say have ever borrowed a Windows CD when your computer crashed you have fleeced Bill Gates and should therefore classify your actions in the league of the "evil mp3 pirates".

    And now we have Gnutella, which incidentally sounds like that horrible chocolate spread which only the French could enjoy, a program which does the same thing as Napster, but which is designed to be impossible to shut down.
    And people wonder why companies like Time-Warner are concerned about this and want it shut down before it can be used to deprive artists of any more revenue? If you look at it from a corporaion's point of view this program is a
    direct threat to their economic well-being, and hence a direct threat to the lives of employees working for them. Given enough people using this sort of piracy tool you will see people losing their jobs and being thrown out onto the
    streets.


    Well as for your comment about Nutella I would think that it's rather good (I am an American) and a lot of other people like it as well (a lot of Germans). Good start mass flamming lots of people there.

    Ahh but it dosn't do just the same thing it actually adds a superset onto the Napster's distribution method. As I recall you can also set up Napster onto another port if you wish. I think you are trying to say that this hurts the ability of syadmins and others to actually en mass block napster type clients. I would not feel any sympathy.

    Time-Warner and companies like it are concerned about it because people won't go through them or a subsidary of them to get a product that could in the end make trillions more for them if the distribution mechanism was opened.

    That's rich. Just because a multi billion dollar company might loose some money dosn't mean that is a "direct threat to the lives of employees". Does Napster/Gnutella actually cause a sound and light combination that interfers with the CNS and cause hypnotic suggestions of suicide? I thought not. Your correlary between Napster/Gnutella usage and lost jobs and direct loss of useful revenue? Name me one person who has actually documented evidence that he/she was terminated because their company lost money because of direct application of Napster/Gnutella.

    And let's not forget that Gnutella allows all kinds of information to be spread across the Internet. Not only illegal MP3s, but other illegal and immoral content - pornography, terrorist manifestos, race-hate propaganda and
    anti-Christian bigotry. How are we supposed to eradicate these blights when they are available over a distributed network of servers which is practically impossible to shut down?


    Wow interesting let's look at this carefully.
    1. Pornography--Largely depends on your definition of porn, age, and locality. I think that in some parts of the world people have to wory about other things than porn on the internet. Maybe like getting food to live, shelter, and protection against winding up in a mass grave somewhere.

    2. Terrorist Manifestos--Ok you got me there. If you mean dissident political opinion then you are way, way, off your rocker. Generally I can read almost anything I want. I actually have read parts of Ted Kazanski's (Unabomber) manifesto and found that he makes some interesting points. His application of said points was rather bad however not all his ideas are bad. Personally I haven't seen too many groups that are actually classified as "terrorists" by the UN Security Council or the USA or almst any other group that has gained "terrorist" status.

    Again please show me exactly how this is harmful and where I could easily get such information with the current Napster/Gnutella setup. Remember the web dosn't count.

    3. Race-hate propaganda

    Nice one. Unfortunately many so called "Christian" religions have done bruthis and nasty things before to the unbelievers: The Inquisition, English Civil War, Holocaust, The Crusades. There are examples from other religions but much less extreme and widespread.

    As far as race goes again prove to me that Napster/Gnutella actually servers up content and show working examples of this to be the case.

    4. Anti-christian bigotry
    By bigotry do you mean criticism? I think you may. Most non Christians/non church goers don't want to spend Sunday or any of their time going to church when they don't want to. I have elected not to go to church and don't feel like this is a bad choice. Actually I think it was the bigotry of my church of choice that prompted my to enjoy relaxing in my favorite chair when Sunday rolls around. Plus I need to study Calculus anyway so it's a win/win.

    I urge /. to consider this before automatically crying out about how corporations are oppressing your rights. Gnutella could have the potential for unmatched harm, and AOL are perfectly right to prevent it from reaching the Internet.

    I have considered this in length and could (at your request) type this up in a more formal way give it line numbers and post it on the web to allow you or anyone who wants to look at it to view it. This is what I feel it the best response to the problem.

    Corporations are oppressive because of power mad people at the top. Most people if really questioned would not want or care to be involved in such activities but need that money to help out their family. I would compare this situation to a group of grog smelling pirates or maybe the "terrorists" in your post above who have taken over a company. Except that the people have to come and go each and every day back to the terrorists and if they leave they are punished or if they speak their mind they will be shot.

    Gnutella has not been proven to be of "unmatched harm" like other things that I can name.

    And while you say that AOL has prevented it from reaching the internet they in actuality have not done any such thing. To prevent someting is to initiate some action whereby the attached action is eliminated from a logical progression of fact, or sequence. However it was posted to the net and then AOL removed it. Some people already got ahold of the client. Therefore we can assume what: yes that AOL did indeed not prevent it's introduction to the net but prevented contineued access to it. Please think about the wording of your statement.

  • I could go for a couple gigabytes of avi movies showing Billy taking it up the ass from the Federal Gov't.

    Seems like almost any file could be publically traded not specifically mp3s. For example source code, recipes, or perhaps fan fiction. You are really being short sighted.
  • Okay, so if my viewpoint disagrees with yours, then I'm either "trolling" or a sixteen year-old kid, is that it? People are allowed to have different opinions from those of the /. sheep herd, even if you don't like them. People like you
    who just accept the party line make me sick. It's the reason /. has become a place for yea-sayers and karma whores rather than the place where intelligent people discussed issues in a civilised manner.


    Long ago from a legal perspective people deemed certain speech as being inflamatory. For example going up to you flipping the bird and yelling "Fuck You!" in your face is not considered protected speech in the slightest. Nor is for example yelling "FIRE!!" in a crowded theater.

    Now what you are saying is not illegal or prohibited but is in fact something that is not very popular. When making arguments you have to consider very carefully what kind of audience you are looking at.

    Consider the Lincoln/Douglas debates. Lincoln was against the expansion of slavery into new territory and douglas was pretty much for it. Now Lincoln didn't want to afford to alienate people or cause a riot so instead of advocating any action he maneuvered Douglas into espousing a method where by people in these disputed territories could decide for themselves.

    Whenever you debate please consider both sides of the coin alright.

    Consider for a minute the following items and name how they cannot be used to do something "illegal"

    1. garbage bag--suffocation, carrying "drugs", mp3 cds
    2. butter knife--stabbing
    3. car--vehicular homicide
    4. water--drowning
    5. computers--industrial espionage
    6. religion--hate crimes
    ...
    and the list goes on

    Because on the Internet you have the ability to shut these sites down by contacting their ISP or whatever, and if you don't like them, then don't go and look at them. Using Gnutella these kinds of materials will be stored across an
    ever-changing distributed network and will be almost impossible to trace or eradicate.


    Your just dead wrong. Just go look at any tucows mirror and look under your favorite OS of choice. Then next look at the groupings called server tools. You will find that you can run the equivelent of a Napster/Gnutella server and have been able to do so for some time. You can also set up news servers, irc servers, etc.

    Oh and by the way if you have a linux box by default you get everything and so therefore become a default server of at least 5+ different protocols unless you turn it off.

    And as soon as your kid starts the program up, what's the first thing he sees? A huge list of pornography, bomb-making instruction manuals and virulent anti-Christian diatribes. Do you want your child exposed to this kind of filth?
    If you are a patriotic American then it is your moral duty to oppose these things and anything which contributes to their spread thorugh society. Children need to be protected so that they can grow up to be good, decent, Christian
    people.


    Yeah until they figure out what the real world is like. See spuing extremely pro-Christian propaganda around strangers is a good way to get the shit beaten out of you for not respecting others beliefs. The vast majority of people in the US don't even go to church. Did you know that? Hell football games like the superbowl and other sporting events occur on Sundays on a regular basis. Do you really think that Joe Sixpack is going to miss his precious ESPN? Nope.

  • Quite a lot of rights, actually. As a student at a university, I have had to sign away my rights to any software I might develop, whether using my own equipment at home, or the computers in uni. This means that if I were to write
    (say) a napster clone, and start distributing it without using any of their resources, they would still be within their rights to tell me to withdraw it. (Incidentally, this particular uni doesn't block Napster, butit could...). I'm guessing
    that it would be rather silly for AOL not to impose the same restrictions on its employees- what if they developed a new MP3 player that was better than WinAmp? AOL's market in that particular sector could take quite a tumble.


    My first little question wasn't the first basic interpreter created by Bill G. himself created on university machines?

    I really don't know of any clause where I went to school and I never had to sign anything. Incidentally how could they prove you did anything at all? For example suppose I just had the source around from before I signed the release and then "released" it. Exactly how can a group of people force what you do on your own time? I really can't see how that is ethical or even legal.

    In short, it's probably perfectly legal, even if it is wrong.

    What I do on my own time with my own resources shouldn't be wrong at all. Suppose I wanted to create a new litttle game called "Barney's Dungeon" where barney and the character of choice engage in "BDSM and varoious anal activities with hilarious results". I can do whatever I want because it was my time. Now that dosn't mean that I will sell any copies but it is something I can do because I did it independently of what I did originally.
  • I've got a copy of it, and I've been using it regularly. It's much smaller and neater than the real napster.

    How big is this? I might be able to throw up a page for you.
  • Yet another move by AOL in its own best interest, and screw everyone elses'. Of course, most corporations nowadays do the same thing, but AOL seems to be trying to create a world monopoly on all goods. The hell is going on? Everyone's so worried about M$, they forget Amazon & AOL. Maybe it's time to create a new internet where Open Source can thrive, as well as projects like Gnutella, Napster and DeCSS. Well, maybe that's not such a good idea - it wouldn't be long before corporations started moving in on that too.

    So, AOL shuts down Gnutella because it could conflict with their future interests in the music world, MPAA shuts down DeCSS for the same reason, what's next? Amazon shutting down libraries because Amazon sells books and libraries rent them out???

    Shit, we obviously need to do something before the Net is completely overrun by pointy-haired corporations sucking every penny they can out of the Internet and consumers. Not that I know what. Open letters are pretty much useless, as we saw with the MCSEs' yesterday, marches don't seem to do anything but clog up streets and tire out the marchers, boycotts don't work because not enough people know/care about them (Amazon), voting isn't effective enough because not enough people vote/care and there's this thing called the Electoral College, so what's left? How about we all get together, build a space shuttle, and head for the Moon?

    Eruantalon
  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @08:38AM (#1198316)

    Actually, most of the stuff they play on the radio is crap. Maybe it's just because we don't have any good stations in the city I live in, or maybe it's just that radio stations in general play mostly crappy music. I'm not sure which it is. Anyway, I've bought several cds lately after downloading some mp3s from mp3.com and from listening to some illegal mp3s (which are now legal for me to have since I own the cds now). A few of the bands I probably would never have heard of if they weren't distributing their music as mp3s. The record industry is the real leech here. Their services will soon not be required and they're not happy about it. They want to cut off all other forms of distribution to keep their business model intact. I, for one, don't want to see that happen. I hope that we can soon come up with a good way of giving our money directly to the artists rather than 95% of it going to middlemen that are needed less every day.

  • by eht ( 8912 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @07:36AM (#1198317)
    since most of the rest of the artcles concern themselves with other stuff I thought I'd put up some servers

    172.16.31.193:6346
    147.46.115.125:6346
    134.117.89.229:6346
    128.220.5.205:6346
    193.123.241.240:6346
    132.208.210.137:6346
    149.75.17.149:6346
    192.0.0.4:6346
    24.112.143.109:6346
    172.24.16.219:6346
    207.170.70.5:6346
    208.60.129.52:6346
    216.227.102.81:6346
    161.221.230.229:6346
    172.16.11.15:6346
    142.165.111.28:6346
    216.131.212.160:6346
    172.16.5.11:6346
    9.37.194.240:6346
    166.90.229.145:6346
    172.16.31.227:6346
    206.64.109.154:6346
    208.21.4.182:6346
    129.123.1.80:6346
    129.59.46.151:6346
    169.233.15.146:80
    193.166.141.13:80
    195.114.246.93:6346
    205.215.216.198:6346
    24.218.83.185:6346
    128.180.92.18:6346
    212.186.127.219:6346
    212.54.17.19:6346
    12.36.100.13:6346
    38.31.45.22:23
    128.180.111.65:6346
    128.2.67.99:6346
    137.99.152.196:6346
    213.46.13.104:6346
    216.112.244.28:7175
    130.83.18.132:6346
    216.116.39.15:6346
    62.155.158.221:6346
    216.221.74.37:6346
    168.122.214.34:6346
    195.252.186.3:6346
    62.158.200.210:6346
    4.4.206.183:6346
    4.4.185.27:6346
    166.102.57.4:6346
    151.199.91.20:6346
    207.109.17.87:6346
    216.61.173.239:6346
    199.74.92.138:6346
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    216.61.88.51:6346
    193.123.241.113:6346
    195.7.69.21:6346
    205.198.255.169:6346
    147.129.139.173:6346
    216.3.3.140:6346
    195.219.8.118:6346
    24.18.166.171:6346
    128.42.156.61:6346
    206.25.34.74:6346
    24.72.2.36:6346
    128.82.5.42:6346
    213.46.6.229:6346
    24.132.104.39:6346
    212.204.141.73:6346
    24.10.76.242:6346
    212.206.155.25:6346
    163.1.80.14:23
    137.45.61.25:6346
    24.65.186.134:666
    207.164.109.103:6346
    208.37.196.8:6346
    131.111.203.157:6346
    24.31.198.201:6346
    209.215.28.205:6346
    24.95.40.126:6346
    24.28.33.158:6346
    137.99.145.54:6346
    142.176.90.21:6543
    24.67.93.126:6346
    216.254.19.66:6346
    129.21.139.134:6346
    208.239.114.4:6346
    195.17.56.109:6868
    157.142.98.93:23
    193.2.132.13:6346
    129.219.114.73:6346
    128.118.210.95:6346
    24.31.196.123:6346
    24.26.188.14:6346
    166.82.44.41:6346
    146.186.211.218:6346
    128.143.136.75:6346
    63.195.117.90:6346
    24.95.45.107:6346
    129.21.110.135:6346
    24.5.32.83:6346
    208.177.195.70:6346
    216.240.164.201:6346
    24.68.132.108:6346
    128.193.141.27:6346
    155.245.240.117:6346
    12.20.104.72:6346
    155.33.78.110:6346
    63.195.179.226:6346
    130.83.18.116:6346
    170.94.200.70:6346
    212.17.127.69:6346
    129.241.122.166:6346
    63.23.113.221:6346
    129.186.208.28:6346
    208.225.27.59:6346
    195.122.4.200:6346
    212.204.129.245:6346
    212.90.70.28:6346
    131.212.82.76:6346
    35.10.131.14:6346
    141.44.23.87:6346
    208.170.187.161:6346
    209.185.175.83:6346
    209.42.196.19:6346
    136.183.29.151:6346
    209.180.54.78:6346
    208.139.225.20:6346
    212.171.37.54:6346
    216.37.28.132:6346
    137.45.61.11:6346
    208.28.188.55:6346
    155.42.18.218:6346
    128.146.97.209:6346
    24.67.15.196:6346
    193.1.135.80:6346
    193.10.65.125:6346
    150.131.11.110:6346
    195.13.160.3:6346
    208.141.130.52:6346
    161.184.164.245:6346
    194.47.219.116:6346
    63.67.82.199:6346
    209.240.42.145:6346
    24.112.161.25:31337
    24.141.255.92:6346
    128.82.5.39:6346
    63.248.2.129:6346
    193.5.168.12:6346
    192.75.12.69:6346
    24.7.164.115:31337
    142.59.242.125:6346
    24.132.40.151:6346
    203.111.29.218:6346
    12.3.200.54:6346
    209.115.22.61:6346
    130.89.227.83:6346
    24.15.208.63:6346
    24.9.229.209:6346
    146.186.231.161:6346
    130.241.181.206:7999
    24.93.24.97:6346
  • by elflord ( 9269 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @07:15AM (#1198318) Homepage
    It will become very difficult to make money in the future on the distribution of creative work...as the distribution of information is no longer a value-added process; instead, it is an AUTOMATIC process.

    The fact that distributing creative work is cheap does not justify attempts to circumvent paying the artists.

    Instead of making money from recordings, musicians will make their money from touring and promotions.

    What if they don't want to tour ? Shouldn't they be payed whether they tour or not ?

    The hundreds of companies making money by leeching funds from creative artists for the service of distribution of the artists' work will go out of business,

    Personally, I'd like to see this happen. As the cost of distribution gos down, it will become easier for artists to distribute themselves without signing their souls away to a distributor.

  • by elflord ( 9269 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:11AM (#1198319) Homepage
    I'm positively dissappointed to see slashdot becoming a haven for warez kiddies and cheapskates. I guess it's an inevitable fact that a "gift culture" will always be met with a "leech culture". We all know what this software is for. It's greet for advocates of pirated software and illegiemate music distribution. Sure, you can try to rationalise it by saying "the big evil corporations get all the money and the artist doesn't get any". If you really mean this, go buy some shareware fonts or something -- there are means of distribution that enable the artist to get compensation without a middleman intercepting all of the profits. However, piracy is not one of them. The only people who benefit from piracy are the cheapskates who do the illegal copying.

  • by kanaka ( 9693 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @04:55AM (#1198320) Journal
    Anti-Censorship tools are by their nature used to do things that are illegal. Sometimes you have to consider whether the laws that make something illegal make sense. The average dictator (if there is an average) uses censorship tools to silence both good things and bad. Pornography, hate speak, and crime are much less of a problem in totalitarian societies but free-press, free-religion, free-speech, and other freedoms are snuffed out. The freedom sword is always double edged; it always allows more good and more bad. You are right that Gnutella would allow all kinds of information to be spread across the internet. If you think that is only bad then you better think again about why the Internet has had and will have such great potential.
  • by jetson123 ( 13128 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @09:10AM (#1198321)
    The fact that AOL could pull Gnutella should serve as an important reminder to many people: you probably don't own the software you write.

    In the US, whether you work for a large corporation, for a small corporation, or whether you are a student at a university, whether you develop software in your "spare time" or during work hours, most likely, any work you do probably belongs to your employer or your school according to your contract with your employer. The only common exceptions to this are if your employer simply isn't at all in the computer field (and which employer these days isn't?) or if you are a freelancer or consultant.

    This also raises interesting questions about what happens if an employee or student releases software under the GPL but it later turns out that they didn't own the software in the first place because of their employment contract. I suspect that the actual owner's rights would take precedence in that case and the GPL license would be void. In fact, that's probably the case with Gnutella. And if you put a lot of the GPL'ed software that is out there under a legal microscope, you'd probably find that a lot of it is actually owned by some university or company.

  • by Desert Raven ( 52125 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:29AM (#1198322)
    I wonder if Justin noticed that little sucking sound as his soul left his body when AOL (aka, the Devil) gave him all that money. Did they make him sign in blood?

    It was pretty naive of him to expect that a mega-company like AOL was going to let him continue to develop whatever he wanted to without getting it cleared through their legal machine.

    One of the more interesting points is that he may not have had the right to release anything under the GPL. Very likely, anything he produces from here on in belongs to AOL, and therefore any licensing terms would have to be approved by them.
  • by CrayDrygu ( 56003 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @04:23AM (#1198323)
    My immediate reaction, which I see someone else has also posted, was "What right does AOL have to say what Frankel can and can't work on in his off time?"

    Well, I don't know what kind of deal he signed with AOL, but there may very well be some sort of clause in there restricting this sort of thing. Now, Frankel is a smart guy. He probably wouldn't have accepted the deal if there was something horribly restrictive in there. But the issue here may be more subtle.

    Even if there's no legal issue in terms of his contract with AOL, there is the fact that he's closely related to AOL->Time/Warner->Music Industry, and having someone in this family tree writing software that goes against the Family would not be a Good Thing. Anybody else writing a Gnutella-type program would probably be subject to the same kind of treatment.

    Another thought is, of course, related to the nature of open source. I don't know if source was released yesterday or not with this program, I didn't have time to check out the site. If it was, though, someone else can easily continue this project. Seems kind of odd for me to say after my above comment, but you have to admit that this program has a better chance of survival outside of The Family, no?

    Frankly, this is a piece of software that i want to see out there. I'm reminded of hotline, only better...which makes me think, how come nobody's filed lawsuits over hotline? Was it just timing?

    Finally, just to make sure my position is clear, AOL is sucks.

  • by mikeylebeau ( 68519 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:46AM (#1198324) Homepage
    I can honestly say that while it sucks I do think AOL does have the right to stop Gnutella from being worked on at Nullsoft if they want to. That they have.

    However, I still think it's a great project, so why don't the Nullsoft guys work on it in their own time? At least release the source on their own time and their own equipment and let the world do with it what they will. At least that way such a cool prog isn't dead.

    Any legal buffs out there know whether even though the current state of Gnutella's been killed off by AOL, if work could still legally be done on it by the Nullsoft boys outside of Nullsoft itself?

    If so I say go for it, dammit! Even releasing the source for the latest (stable) version they've made would be a huge step forward because others would come forward and work on it and make it what we all want it to be.
  • by Jeff Knox ( 1093 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @07:02AM (#1198325) Homepage
    Excuse me. You are just as bad as the people at the record labels and RIAA that bash on the format MP3 it self. No one said anything about downloading pirated mp3s. And if you think thats all Napster and Gnutella can be used for, you are simply wrong. Thats like blaming CuteFTP for all the warez downloading going on, because they provide an ftp client. Dont blame the format or the tools.
  • by Erskin ( 1651 ) <.gro.hctirdle. .ta. .niksre.> on Thursday March 16, 2000 @04:52AM (#1198326) Homepage
    There's a Salon Technology Log [salon.com] article on this.

    --

  • by Spud Zeppelin ( 13403 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:03AM (#1198327)

    If everyone did as you suggested, not only would the execs not understand what was going on, they would just hire new people who know less at a lower salary. Then they would pat themselves on the back for a good cost cutting measure.

    That's all well and good -- right up until the point where something breaks...! When you're the world's largest ISP, and one of your key systems goes down, you trust that you have a sysadmin who can "take care of it." When the most skilled sysadmin you have left is the kid you hired away from a tech support gig at Brent's Internet Service and Tree-Trimming of Dothan, Alabama, then all of a sudden that $50,000 a year less you were paying him than his predecessor begins to look like chump change, and he'll be as overwhelmed as a Radio Flyer on the receiving end of a front-end loader.

    Personally, I wouldn't work in any situation where my free-time-dev rights were restricted either -- and because of that, I slammed the door in the face of one of the nation's largest consulting firms last summer when they tried to get me to sign one. Anyone who doesn't understand why needs to visit Evan Brown's [unixguru.com] website. But in this case, I suspect that in return for the 10^7 or so dollars they paid him, Justin probably did sign away a lot of his rights; assuming a large chunk of it was in stock, he has a strong interest in "protecting" Time-Warner's IP as well -- in fact if he is in fact a "corporate officer" of AOL/TW, then he has a fiduciary responsibility to AOL/TW's shareholders which he is already theoretically in breach of for having released gnutella in the first place! Ouch!



    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.

  • by Wah ( 30840 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:25AM (#1198328) Homepage Journal
    ..eh, but who's surprised. [slashdot.org]

    "Justin and Tom work for Nullsoft, makers of Winamp and Shoutcast. See? AOL *CAN* bring you good things!," the Gnutella site said yesterday.

    MWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    --
    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
  • by Wah ( 30840 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @07:19AM (#1198329) Homepage Journal
    Number of CDs Wah has bought over the last year because of legally sanctioned radio air-play : 0

    Number of CDs Wah has bought over the last year because of "illegally" shared MP3s : 5

    Who's benefitting now? Your brain needs another washing, that first one left quite a bit of debris.


    --
    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
    ba-bu-ba-ba-baaa, da-da-dum. Re-boot the ser-ver.
  • by Spazmoid ( 75087 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @04:35AM (#1198330)
    AOL and Time Warner lobbied so hard for the DCMA even before they were bed fellows I figured that gNutella wouldn't last long. Guess Justin is learning his lesson for sleeping with such monolopy. I bet he is pissed, but he should have seen it coming.

    Wonder what AOL will do with him now, I do not know the contractural aggrements made when Nullsoft was acquired by AOL, but I bet the relationship between the Giant and the gnat is getting kindof strained.

  • by aliastnb ( 155659 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @04:21AM (#1198331)
    What right does AOL have to stop these people from writing software on thier own time? I'm not a software writing kind of guy but is this even legal?

    Quite a lot of rights, actually. As a student at a university, I have had to sign away my rights to any software I might develop, whether using my own equipment at home, or the computers in uni. This means that if I were to write (say) a napster clone, and start distributing it without using any of their resources, they would still be within their rights to tell me to withdraw it. (Incidentally, this particular uni doesn't block Napster, butit could...). I'm guessing that it would be rather silly for AOL not to impose the same restrictions on its employees- what if they developed a new MP3 player that was better than WinAmp? AOL's market in that particular sector could take quite a tumble.

    In short, it's probably perfectly legal, even if it is wrong.

    --

  • by jonathan_ingram ( 30440 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @04:17AM (#1198332) Homepage
    Firstly, there are some links to the software in the other article on /. about Gnutella [slashdot.org].

    Those links have been superceded by this page [allskin.com], which seems to be a combined news and FAQ page. Note that the newest version of Gnutella, .491, has problems, so using .49 or .48 is a good idea (I'm using .48 at the moment). The page also shows some IP addresses to connect to to get you started, now that the main server is down.

    Gnutella also has a very active EFNet channel (#gnutella, surprisingly enough). Come on over :).

  • by MattTC ( 45020 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @07:01AM (#1198333) Homepage
    That's an easy enough position to take, but progress can't be halted.

    The fact is, electronic communication is making the commoditization of information obsolete. It will become very difficult to make money in the future on the distribution of creative work...as the distribution of information is no longer a value-added process; instead, it is an AUTOMATIC process.

    The only way to keep information out of someone's hands will be to keep it a secret, which would negate the point of the creative work.

    This can be a boon, and it can be a problem, but it WILL happen; given the direction of computer internetworking, it is inevitible.

    New business models for musicians and other artists creating informational work will have to be formed.

    Musicians, for instance, will be able to use the self-publishing capabilities of the net to increase their visibility without having to go through the interference of the record companies. Instead of making money from recordings, musicians will make their money from touring and promotions.

    The hundreds of companies making money by leeching funds from creative artists for the service of distribution of the artists' work will go out of business, unless they get their heads out of the sand, and change their business model to perform a real service for both consumer and artist.

    In short: Non-secret information will be free, and you might as well get used to the idea, because the consequences are vast.
  • by zbuffered ( 125292 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:18AM (#1198334)
    http://www.allskin.com/gnutella/ [allskin.com] ...it simply moved. I think AOL's going to get snippety with Nullsoft pretty soon. Let's get Justin Frankel lined up for a /. interview! We could all gain some insight there.
  • by wholesomegrits ( 155981 ) <wholesomegrits@nosPAM.mchsi.com> on Thursday March 16, 2000 @04:34AM (#1198335)
    I've made the program available here: http://zonedefense.dhs.org/gnutuilla_dl. html [dhs.org]

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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