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German police have launched a probe into whether Napster is being used to swap child porn on the Net.

The investigation will also delve into other online file-swapping services such as Gnutella and MyNapster, and hopes to determine whether users have stored illegal material on their computers.

"We are conducting inquiries in connection with that," a Munich police representative told IDG.net today, although no further details were revealed.

Napster, which lets surfers share music MP3 or WMA files through its Web site, threatened to ban users using the service to trade pornographic images.

"Any exchange of image or film files would violate Napster's terms of service," it said in a statement.

"Under Napster's terms of service, users are responsible for complying with all federal and state laws applicable to shared content. User accounts that violate those terms will be blocked from the service as soon as Napster learns of such violations."

In related news, seven Brits pleaded guilty today to taking part in one of the world's biggest Net porn rings. The men were among 107 people arrested by police in 12 countries suspected of belonging to an Internet paedophile ring. ®

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