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AOL GETS OUT OF
"NO-WIN(AMP)" SITUATION

Company Removes MP3 Search Service
From Winamp Site
As of today (8/10), fans of Winamp's helpful MP3 search engine will have to look elsewhere.

America Online removed the controversial MP3 search service from its Winamp site yesterday, according to Upside.com. While the search window is still up on the site, attempts to use it only bring up the following message: "Sorry. Search unavailable at this time. Sad, sad Nullsoft." Nullsoft is the AOL subsidiary that developed Winamp.

Howard King, the lawyer representing Dr. Dre and Metallica in their suits against Napster, hinted that the removal of the service may have something to do with the impending AOL-Time Warner merger. Time Warner sued the MP3Board.com site for a service similar to the one Winamp, until yesterday, provided.

"Remember, AOL doesn't own Time Warner yet," King said.

"The goal was to add a search function to the Winamp site," said AOL spokesman Jim Whitney. "Now that it's up, we see we don't have an efficient process for sorting between legal and illegal MP3s, and until we find out how to address that, we're going to take the search function down."

Whitney had no comment on when or if the search engine would return or on why AOL waited a full month to take the service down.

According to a cursory trial by the staff at Upside.com, similar MP3 search engines run by Lycos and AltaVista seem to host far lass copyrighted content and seem to have figured out how to remove such content from their services.

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