Napster has banned Aimster's attempt to bypass its attempt to filter out songs it's not allowed to let go wandering across its network.
And it's not the only one that's been getting cross about Aimster's Pig Encoder. The 'file sharing via AOL Instant Messenger' software company has apparently received a number of "public and private threats", it noted on its Web site last night.
There's no indication of a legal threat here, though we wonder what other kind of clout Napster has to ensure Aimster's compliance. Aimster claimed it pulled the software "out of respect for Napster's efforts to maintain its own service for its own users as it deems best".
Now since Pig Encoder works directly on MP3 files on the user's hard drive, and thus technically has nothing to do with Napster - or any other app, for that matter - it's hard to see why Aimster caved in unless Napster did indeed threaten the intervention of our learned friends at the bar.
And we note Aimster's ass-preserving 'if someone else ships the software, it's nothing to do with us' clause.
All of which is pretty ironic given Aimster's previous posturing over how its code was Napster-proof, thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which makes illegal unauthorised attempts to circumvent copyright protection systems. Aimster's solution to Napster's filtering scheme was certainly clever and worthy of praise as such, but the legal arguments were tantamount to a red rag to the proverbial.
The commercial alternative to Pig Encoder, NapCameBack Encoder, remains available, but presumably the company behind it, PulseNewMedia, will be receiving a snottogram from Napster's brief any day now. ®
Aimster's Pig Encoder download (not) page