Though I’m a Mac user, back when I was on Windows I was an avid Shareaza user. It’s an open source P2P program (under the GPL) that supports Gnutella, G2, eDonkey2000 and BitTorrent, and allows files to be downloaded from multiple sources across all four networks. It’s also a high-performance client with a number of other innovative features.
Unfortunately the shareaza.com domain was shut down in October, and has since been taken over by a company called iMesh/MusicLab, which now offers an alternative ‘Shareaza version 4’. This client has nothing to do with Shareaza and is actually based on iMesh and BearShare, two other P2P clients whose original developers have abandoned. Worse still, this fake Shareaza apparently contains spyware (despite its claims to the contrary) – full details here.
The legal status of this fake Shareaza client is unclear; Shareaza isn’t trademarked and as it isn’t based on the real Shareaza program then it cannot be sued for violating the GPL. It does, however, use the Shareaza logo; provided this is copyrighted then the site could be taken down for copyright infringement, no matter how ironic suing a P2P service for copyright infringement would be.
I’ve been working to change all of the links I’ve posted to shareaza.com to point to shareaza.sourceforge.net which is the current official home for Shareaza, and hope that if you have linked to it in the past you’ll update your links too. Right now shareaza.com is still the top result for a Google search for ‘shareaza’, which is a shame.