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Nullsoft releases WASTE -- AOL pulls the plug

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 31 May 2003 16:09 User comments (4)

Nullsoft, the subsdiary of media giant AOL TimeWarner and the author of hyper-popular media player, WinAMP, managed to anger its parent company, once again, this week.
Nullsoft released an instant messaging/trusted-party file-sharing application called WASTE on their website on Wednesday, but after a huge amount of press coverage, labeling the tool as "secure P2P software", etc, Nullsoft's parent company AOL decided to pull the plug. Now the download page simply states that "unauthorized copy of Nullsoft's copyrighted software was briefly posted on this website. ... 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."

The request for pulling back the licenses and usage rights might be much more complicated than it sounds, since the code was released under GPL license which states that "parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance."

Anyway, the tool itself wasn't for P2P networking, but instead it was aimed to provide a secure method for instant messaging and file-sharing with trusted users (each user has to be manually added to the contacts before user's files can be searched or messages can be exchanged, just like in AIM or ICQ). We can only speculate why AOL decided to pull the product -- maybe it was because of the GPL, maybe because of wrong interpretation by the press who labeled it as P2P software.

Nullsoft has managed to do such things to annoy AOL earlier as well. The original Gnutella P2P client was developed by Nullsoft's Justin Frankel and released on Nullsoft's site -- quickly after its release, AOL decided to remove the product.

More information:

Nullsoft
WASTE fan site
News.com
BetaNews
Aol.is.dreaming.org

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4 user comments

12.6.2003 12:30

Well the source to wasted was released so I am sure something exactly like it will come out. It sucks that winamp is under AOL.

33.6.2003 7:40
gatekeepr
Inactive

Seems like it would have beena good idea. Too bad they pulled the plug on it. Is it possible that AOL is afraid that it would draw attention away from their ever-popular AIM?

410.11.2003 4:52
dooey5
Inactive

It does suck that WinAmp is under AOL, I do agree there, but it also sucks that AOL even exists period! It is by far the worse program, no matter how many versions they make of it. Plain and simple, it sucks. The ONLY reason I have EVER used AOL is when I go home and my family doesn't have internet connections of their own or broadband, I will sign up for a "free trial" of AOL for like....what is it now.....80 cajillion free hours?? Whatever the case, that's the only time I use it, when there is NOTHING else to use......it's my last resort...I would rather plug an RJ-45 cable in my azz and make phone calls through my penis then use AOL. :-) Krys :-)

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