Napster tweaks MP3 finder to un-jam University LANs

Education establishments' ban forces code change

Napster, developer of the controversial Internet-based music locating software also called Napster, has bowed to pressure from US universities and tweaked the program's code to prevent it from logjamming the academics' networks. Over the last couple of months several hundred US educational establishments have banned students from using Napster as the massed searches for and subsequent downloads of MP3 files from around the Net have slowed the institutions' LANs to a crawl. Indiana University, one of the first establishments to ban Napster, told the Wall Street Journal that Napster-sourced traffic was accounting for up to 60 per cent of all communications between the University's network and the Internet just before it was banned. The code change was implemented with the help of Indiana University. The software now searches local proxy servers for the desired music file, and only heads out onto the wider Internet if it can't find the file there. Napster expects other universities to rescind their bans on its software, now the change has been made. That will also allow it to concentrate its attention on the legal action brought against it by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which seeks a wider ban on the software. The RIAA claims Napster makes it even easier for pirates to distribute illegal digital copies of its members' products. ® Related Stories Music biz sues Napster Music publishers allege MP3.com copyright infringement US music industry sues MP3.com over 'virtual CD player'

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