Napster ruling fallout spreading

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Though Napster's life has been extended at least for the moment, ripples caused by the ruling continue to spread. The German recording industry trade group, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, has begun applying pressure on sites based in Germany to remove Napster software used in file-sharing system. To read more, go to zdnet.co.uk.

Users, fearing that Napster's days are numbered, have turned to alternative file-sharing services. Servers have struggled, at times unsuccessfully, to keep up with demand at Freenet, Gnutella, Napigator, Scour, Spinfrenzy.com and others. Services like Gnutella and Freenet may be more attractive in the wake of the ruling because their systems are decentralized file-sharing that may not be so vulnerable to court orders as there is no central server that can be targeted by law enforcement and courts. In fact, these services have not yet even been named in recording industry legal efforts. For more information, go to pcworld.com, zdnet.co.uk or internetnews.com.

While alternative file-sharing sites were slowed by increased traffic, the Recording Industry Association of America's Web site was shut down for several hours by what may have been a retaliatory denial-of-service attack by supporters of Napster. In the same vein, Napster foe Metallica's Web site was hacked and defaced. For more information, read msnbc.com..