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AOL Dumps WASTE
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2003-06-04
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Remember Nullsoft? It created Winamp and in 1999, was scarfed up whole by AOL because AOL wasn't up to developing its own mp3 app.

Then on May 28 Nullsoft released Waste, its new p2p prog. And then guess what?

AOL yanked it.

Waste was meant to combine file sharing with instant messaging, chat and file searches and, "had been used internally to share files between AOL's San Francisco office, where Nullsoft is based, and its Dulles, Va., headquarters, according to Ian Rogers, a former founding member of Nullsoft," says CNET News' Tim Hu..

The copy below suddenly appeared on what was the WASTE page:

NOTICE OF UNAUTHORIZED SOFTWARE

An unauthorized copy of Nullsoft's copyrighted software was briefly posted on this website on or about Wednesday May 28, 2003. The software was identified as "WASTE" (the "Software") and includes the files "waste-setup.exe", "waste-source.zip", "waste- source.tar.gz" and any additional files contained in these files.

Nullsoft is the exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in the Software. The posting of the Software on this website was not authorized by Nullsoft.

If you downloaded or otherwise obtained a copy of the Software, you acquired no lawful rights to the Software and must destroy any and all copies of the Software, including by deleting it from your computer. Any license that you may believe you acquired with the Software is void, revoked and terminated.

Any reproduction, distribution, display or other use of the Software by you is unauthorized and an infringement of Nullsoft's copyright in the Software as well as a potential violation of other laws.

Thank you.
Nullsoft

Tim also says its "quiet launch" was down to Nullsoft's principal developer, Justin Frankel, "known for his tech savvy and his streak of rebelliousness."

Word is that Justin isn't/wasn't overjoyed by AOL's action, as below from here:

"For me, coding is a form of self-expression. It's probably the form I'm most effective at. Everything I code is arguably owned by the company. The company controls what I do with my code [in the past, it seemed I had freedom, but it turns out all of that was not really the case--rather, I was somehow avoiding the control illicitly (for 4 years)] The company controls the most effective means of self-expression I have. This is unacceptable to me as an individual, therefore I must leav. I don't know when it will be, but I'm not going to last much longer. I have nothing but respect for the company--I've just come to realize that it is time to do something different."

In the meanwhile, "WASTE competes with AIM, not Kazaa," says Lucas Gonze on O'Reilly Developer Weblog, going on that WASTE isn't a filesharing tool because it doesn't support searching in any meaningful way.

"Under the hood, Kazaa et al are nothing but search engines, while WASTE clusters are too small for search," he says. "A real cluster would be 5-10 people, not even the 50 given by developers as the maximum size, and at that scale searching is pointless. WASTE is a tool for chat and IRC, with no more or less support for filesharing than AIM.

And that, states Lucas, is enough to put the frighteners onto AOL, given that the latter's strategic leverage is: it has the, "largest base of instant messaging users" and, hence, "is the easiest way to reach somebody over instant messaging."

But, "WASTE not only ignores the AOL Instant Messenger namespace, it sets up a new namespace, and the decentralized nature of that namespace means that no provider - not Jabber, not MSN/Passport, not even AOL/Nullsoft - can get a strategic edge," he adds.

"If the WASTE namespace were to take off, the new mega-namespace established by the Microsoft/AOL truce would be obsolete."

Awww.

Anyone who wants to check out the WASTE source code (for purely educational purposes, of course) should go here.

Source: www.p2pnet.net


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