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Webnoize Estimates Two Billion Files Downloaded Using Napster Alternatives

Consumers transferred 1.81 billion digital media files using the Kazaa, MusicCity and Grokster file-sharing applications during October, a rise of 20% from the 1.51 billion files downloaded during September, according to Webnoize (http://www.webnoize.com). All three applications use software licensed from FastTrack, an Amsterdam-based peer-to-peer technology company, and share the same network. During the month, 1.3 million users were typically logged on to the combined network at any one time, compared to 1 million simultaneous users in September.

“The growth of the FastTrack network continues to be astounding,” said Webnoize Senior Analyst Matt Bailey, who led the study. “During the last four months the number of users typically logged on has risen by 480%, and in November will likely surpass the 1.57 million simultaneous users Napster enjoyed at its peak.”

On October 3, 28 music and movie companies sued MusicCity, Grokster and FastTrack, which also maintains and develops the Kazaa application. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of “massive” copyright infringement.

Ironically, the legal action taken by content owners will further boost consumer awareness of the FastTrack system, said Bailey. “As higher awareness translates into higher usage, the FastTrack network may ultimately become many times larger than Napster ever was.”

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