Re: Fwd: Napster hack allows free distribution of software, movies

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From: Adam Rifkin -4K (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 14:11:02 PST

John Klassa wrote:
> The bigger question, in my mind, is why anybody would want to pirate
> a copy of Win2k. :-)

At the startup I'm working at, we have a "joke application" we talk
about which we've dubbed "Pornster" -- a hacked-up Napster to deliver
porn images, mpegs, etc. It might not be as family oriented as Napster
but it sure is a viral app...

From the article that John forwarded:
> Hackers are transforming the popular Napster music-trading system into a
> full-blown online swap meet for everything from videos to software,
> expanding piracy concerns for companies that produce digital products.
> A program dubbed "Wrapster" was released yesterday that allows any kind
> of file to be listed and traded over the Napster network, even though
> the system only recognizes music files. Although Wrapster was not
> developed by Napster, the company has made no move to block the
> application.

See, I thought the whole point of Napster was *community*. If a person
just wanted to illegally trade files, there are many ways to do it, from
direct dialup bulletin board systems to anonymous ftp.

But Napster is more than that, because Napster allows the assemblage of
a *community* of music enthusiasts to exchange thoughts and music. [In
the same way "Pornster" allows assemblage of a community of porn
enthusiasts, "ECDLster" allows assemblage of a community of elliptic
curve enthusiasts, and "Cosmster" and "Anagramster" and "FoRKster" and a
thousand other ****sters could be specialized to things that people
would want to create communities around.]

Or is my definition of ****ster appropriate? Message boards (a la
Usenet) plus some real-time interaction (a la IRC) plus a way to
transfer files (a la ftp) plus a way to find files (a la Archie) plus a
way to play or display those files, right? Is there anything more to a
Napsteresque application than that? Maybe a wrapper in a cool UI.

Of course, then you could go meta-evil on me and build the the community
of ****ster communities. But I think we've already discussed that on
this list the last time we had a Napster thread, so if everyone doesn't
mind I'll Godwin's Law myself and terminate this thread with this word.


What I'm selling is the economic value of a social phenomenon. -- Yossi Vardi, co-founder of Mirabilis, about ICQ

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