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Post Napster, Users Of Online Music, Video-Sharing Services Rise

Despite the shutdown of song-swapping service Napster in July, more and more people are using online music- and video-sharing services.

This was the finding of a study conducted by Jupiter Media Metrix Inc., a technology research firm, which said users of file-swapping services other than Napster totaled 6.9 million in August, up 492 percent from March, when Jupiter began tracking those services.

During the same period, Napster's user base dropped 49 percent (5.5 million users) after it stopped its service.

Napster alternatives with more than 1 million users include Morpheus, the top alternative, with 2.3 million unique users in August, up 186 percent from June; Kazaa Media Desktop, with 1.3 million users, and Winmx, with 1.2 million users, Jupiter said.

On Oct. 3, suits were filed in U.S. federal court against the companies behind Morpheus, Kazaa and Grokster by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, alleging that the services have created "a 21st century piratical bazaar where the unlawful exchange of protected materials takes place across the vast expanse of the Internet.''