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WinMX PNP Network Mysteriously Ends Operations

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WinMX PNP Network Mysteriously Ends Operations

Postby SlyckTom » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:28 am

WinMX began its time as a simple OpenNap client in a time when Napster and Scour ruled the P2P scene. When Napster and Scour were banished from the Internet, WinMX's importance took on a new burden of importance. It reinvented itself from a mere OpenNap client to become one of the premier P2P networks of its day.

<b>Update:</b> Please read <a href=http://www.slyck.com/news.php?story=925 target=_blank>this</a> article for reconnecting to the WinMX network.

During its height, WinMX, developed by FrontCode Technologies, eclipsed the Napster P2P network in not only resourcefulness, but also in population. During mid-2002, its population had reached over 1.5 million simultaneous users. With an active community, plenty of independent user forums and steady development it appeared there was nothing that could stop this network.

Then something mysterious happened. From July 2003 to July 2004, there were no updates to WinMX - nothing to improve the network architecture, the dreaded queues or any other attributes. Then in July 2004 after nearly a year of frustration, FrontCode released addition betas which many perceived as a mere "filler" versions. Version 3.53 did little more than feature “a major upgrade of the chat component and other minor improvements." Another beta version (3.54) was subsequently released, which improved the media library.

That would be the last anyone would hear from WinMX ever again. Slyck maintained communications with FrontCode president Kevin Hearn, who stated that work was still being continued on the mystical version 4.0. During the early part of the summer, Mr. Hearn told Slyck.com that something might be available towards the end of the 2005 summer.

However, another plot twist appears to have mixed things up once again. On September 13, 2005, WinMX was the recipient of a letter (along with 6 other P2P firms) from the RIAA. The letter demanded the receiving developers they cease infrin
ging operations immediately, and offered to "discuss pre-litigation resolution of these claims."

Like Alberto Treves' decision to release the source of Ares Galaxy, or Sam Yagan's decision to join the DCIA, every move a P2P developer makes is immediately questioned to be in direct response to the RIAA's letter campaign. Such is the case for FrontCode Technologies. Or should we say WinMX Technology Associates?

Currently, the WinMX.com homepage, the FrontCode.com homepage, the WinMX PNP Network and all of its host caches are down. It is impossible to connect to the network, and those remaining online will only stay online as long as their host supernodes do. But is this the end of WinMX?

Perhaps not. Interestingly enough, if one conducts a DNS whois for "WinMX.com", the result directs owner ship to a "WinMX Technology Associates" - not FrontCode Technologies as it has in the past. Even more interesting is the geographical relocation from Toronto, Canada to Port Vila, Vanuatu. Many will remember that Sharman Networks pulled a similar stunt to avoid prosecution in the Netherlands and to capitalize on "tax efficiencies."

FrontCode.com is still registered in Canada. Kevin Hearn, who is usually readily available for comment with Slyck.com, has not responded to inquiries for several weeks.

Before anyone clamors the end of the WinMX PNP network, time needs to be given to allow for this development to unfold. Although it appears WinMX.com was reregistered prior to this event, its occurrence cannot be downplayed until this fluid situation is resolved.
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Postby lordofmidnight01 » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:38 am

Well, no matter what happens, I have a soft spot in my heart for WinMX. It was the first P2P program I was able to use on something other than a 56K modem. I had tried to use Napster before that but my phone connection was so bad that I kept getting disconnected. When I moved to an apartment and had my first cable modem Napster was gone and WinMX was awesome! Shame to see it go, if in fact it does.
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Time to move!

Postby Anonymous » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:51 am

I read some postings here and at alt.music.mp3.winmx and if I didn't know that the issue was about a filesharing program, I could easily believe that something truly terrible had happened.

Calm down people. Here is all you need to do to get back to p2p:

1) Uninstall Winmx.

2) Install eMule, Shareaza, Gnucleus, Ares, eDonkey, Limewire.

3) See what works best for you (search quality, release efficiency, download speeds) and uninstall the rest.

Big deal. It's all about 30-40 minutes of testing and tuning. BIG DEAL!

Oh and forget about the "leech hammers" and other such kinky things you thought cool. Modern clients enforce sharing in much more reliable ways (credits, horde etc)
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Postby OddballLN » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:55 am

Tom, thanks for the info. winmx has been very good over the years. we can only hope that it will reappear some where else. the RIAA is completely out of touch with the consumer to the point of no return. none of the **AA's deserve a penny from anyone from here on out!
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Postby Macker » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:04 am

At one stage it was where I got all my porn. I can remember first using Winmx with a dialup modem. I'd leave my machine powered on for days at a time trying to get that 100mb of p0rn :(
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Postby sumfuka » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:35 am

I was under the impression that organisations such as the RIAA didn't have any jurisdiction (not sure if that's the correct term) in Canada. I gather I'm totally wrong about that or, maybe, that Canada has some expected upcoming legislation that would align it more towards American law with regards the whole copyrights issue?

I'm tending to think that things may be changing rather than ending here when taking into consideration the move to Vanuatu.

"As long as Canada remains a free country..."
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Postby mrbag » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:35 am

their not dead just moving location. mock my words.. besides winmx might be down, but im using the opennap as we speak.. no problem
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Postby Nick » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:44 am

Nice article, Tom.

@sumfuka: I'm sorry to say you can be sued in any country for a debt (such as a civil court judgement) incurred in any other country.
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Postby UiNeill » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:54 am

Im gutted by this, as will my daughter be when she gets home from school.

At first i thought it was a fault with the program, so i uninstalled it.

Does anyone know if it can still be downloaded from somewhere as i wouldnt like to lose it just yet even tho it not up and running.
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Postby DaBlade » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:57 am

While I use BT mainly, I still grab a few songs from MX every now and then. I hope this isn't the end...
EDIT: UiNeill: Check your personal message inbox.
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Postby TDO » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:03 am

"It's as if a million WinMx-geeks cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced"

:).

Finally... Whoever says dreams don't come true, is completly wrong :).
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Postby Assyrian » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:08 am

Havnt used it since 2002/3, R.I.P, or is it..?
away.
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Postby zim » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:16 am

people are gonna piss and moan about this for years...
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Postby Anonymous » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:20 am

The article is very good indeed. And I really like the picture of the coffin :) Thumbs up!
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Postby jonne » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:24 am

mrbag wrote:mock my words..

Don't mind if I do!


Ha ha!


now, seriously: If the RIAA really managed to take down a webcache, it could be a problem for other networks. Although luckily most networks have been built with the ability to use multiple different webcaches, and the RIAA probably can't shut 'em all down.
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Postby sumfuka » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:32 am

rocketman05 wrote:Nice article, Tom.

@sumfuka: I'm sorry to say you can be sued in any country for a debt (such as a civil court judgement) incurred in any other country.


So would you happen to know what makes Vanuatu different (from, say, Canada) legally?

Sorry, I should probably look it up but feel like being lazy at the mo... :)
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Re: WinMX PNP Network Mysteriously Ends Operations

Postby Meerkat » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:37 am

SlyckTom wrote:Then something mysterious happened. From July 2003 to July 2004, there were no updates to WinMX - nothing to improve the network architecture, the dreaded queues or any other attributes. Then in July 2004 after nearly a year of frustration, FrontCode released what many perceived as a mere "filler" version. Version 3.53 did little more than feature “a major upgrade of the chat component and other minor improvements."

That would be the last anyone would hear from WinMX ever again.

Between Nov. 2004 and Jan. 2005, Frontcode worked on beta versions of 3.54, which did major improvements to WinMX's library. All released to the public for testing.

SlyckTom wrote:Currently, the WinMX.com homepage, the FrontCode.com homepage, the WinMX PNP Network and all of its host caches are down.

Frontcode.com has not been available for a very long time. It served as a portal to winmx.com, nothing more.

SlyckTom wrote:Interestingly enough, if one conducts a DNS whois for "WinMX.com", the result directs owner ship to a "WinMX Technology Associates" - not FrontCode Technologies as it has in the past. Even more interesting is the geographical relocation from Toronto, Canada to Port Villa, Vanuatu.

Nothing new there, that's the name winmx.com has been registered to since domain name renewal last year. Same with the Vanuatu location.

SlyckTom wrote:Many will remember that Sharman Networks pulled a similar stunt to avoid prosecution in the Netherlands and to capitalize on "tax efficiencies."

Frontcode had no financial gains from the use of its program, nothing like Sharman.

SlyckTom wrote:FrontCode.com is still registered in Canada. Kevin Hearn, who is usually readily available for comment with Slyck.com, has not responded to inquiries for several weeks.

Slyck.com and other p2p sites have long lost interest in WinMX, even though the program still had a strong user base and user-provided support. It didn't generate the excitement of p2p flavors du jour and Frontcode didn't make the negative waves (which made it very tough on other developers) that Sharman, iMesh and Grokster did. Maybe Kevin Hearn will comment with Slyck for the old times.
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Postby raar » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:42 am

*crickets*








It will be a sad day indeed. I guess we'll see.
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so sad

Postby TheWraith » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:46 am

this is kinda sad for me
ive been using winmx since 2.6 when it could'nt even multi, and on top of that i had a 37k connection that made me redial every 2 hours
but i got by :/ lol

im a software designer and do it for free and although theres places like twocows i preferd to upload things id made on winmx that way no one made any money from me, wether it be via add's or java

now i have to line peoples pockets
and i can no longer help noobs in a good chat enviroment

i could go over to iRC but its just not the same and up there everyone already knows everything LOL
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Postby Nick » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:50 am

Interesting post Meerkat. I think it is a bit unfair to Slyck to say that they have lost interest in WinMx, it just seemed to users (including myself) that WinMx seems to have lost interest in us as time went by.

Hopefully it will return.

@sumfuka:
So would you happen to know what makes Vanuatu different (from, say, Canada) legally?

Can't comment, as I'm no less lazy than you :-)

AFAIK Vanuatu is regarded as a "safe haven" and doesn't disclose information on those registered there. Obviously this would make it attractive to people. One more hurdle for the RIAA and their friends to cross.
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Postby Widdle » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:55 am

An interesting read on the Vanuatu legal system....

Vanuatu Law

"An international or offshore company may be established without operating in Vanuatu. This company may bank here or elsewhere in the world and may operate overseas by holding shares in any offshore company and even owning real estate. No physical presence required and the company may be formed in few hours"

I will be doing more research on this small islands legal system.......
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Postby hatr3d » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:01 am

RIP...?

This was the first p2p program I used back in the day and I have since moved onto other methods of getting what I want, winmx will be missed.

As a computer noob winmx's interface was intimidating but I soon learned to love it.

It was fun while it lasted.
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Postby raar » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:06 am

Widdle wrote:An interesting read on the Vanuatu legal system....

Vanuatu Law

"An international or offshore company may be established without operating in Vanuatu. This company may bank here or elsewhere in the world and may operate overseas by holding shares in any offshore company and even owning real estate. No physical presence required and the company may be formed in few hours"

I will be doing more research on this small islands legal system.......


We appreciate it, Widdle...since we're all too lazy.
Awaiting anything you can dig up. May be some small glimmer of hope.
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Postby SlyckTom » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:13 am

Meerkat: I forgot about version 3.54...I'll edit the article...

But the rest of the points are valid and the last thing I should do is downplay the Vanuatu registration.

I also highly disagree with your position that Slyck has lost interest in WinMX. This story has witnessed some very high traffic...easily the most popular in the last few weeks.
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Postby altpdend » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:26 am

this could the same thig the piratebay did when they lunched 2.0 maybe when they come back 4.0 will finally be here seriousy would they cave to riaa they are in canda
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