Brief: AOL Shuts Down MP3 Search Engine

FRAMINGHAM (08/11/2000) - America Online Inc. this week shut down the MP3 file search engine on its Nullsoft Winamp music player site, which enabled its users to search the Internet for music. "The search came down because we saw that we don't have an efficient way to distinguish between legal and illegal MP3s," said Jay Whitney, an AOL spokesman. He denied, however, that the move resulted from pressure from New York-based Time Warner Inc. AOL is planning a merger with Time Warner, which has a music unit and is suing several MP3 file-sharing companies, including the controversial Napster Inc. search program that's under legal assault by the music industry for similarly failing to distinguish between legal and pirated music.