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The Clip2 Report

OpenNap Use Crashes


Clip2 just completed a study of the OpenNap network -- a network of index servers and peers that work similarly to those operated and distributed by Napster, Inc., but the system supports exchange of multiple file types, not just audio. Numerous unaffiliated parties operate OpenNap index servers advertised for public access by Napigator.


The number of OpenNap servers fell by over 75% in the period from late February to late April 2001. The number of simultaneous users among these servers declined from 100,000 in late March to less than 50,000 by late April, and the number of files available similarly dropped about 50% from its peak in March. Finally, the average file size among files shared by OpenNap users rose by over 20% between early February and late April.

Number of Servers

The number of OpenNap servers advertised and available for public access has declined considerably since late February. The Wall Street Journal and CNET reported on February 23 that the Recording Industry Association of America had sent letters of complaint to ISPs providing service to OpenNap server operators, and the decline may be a result.

Number of Active OpenNap Servers

Number of Users

Because the user population is not spread evenly among servers, it has suffered less decline by proportion than the server population, although the dropoff remains considerable.

Simultaneous OpenNap Servers

Number of Files

The typical number of files per user, around 225, has remained relatively stable. The file population has roughly varied with the user population as a result.

Total Files Simultaneously Available via OpenNap

File Size

The average file size steadily increased during the period studied. Possible reasons for the trend: