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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 11:16 GMT
Music sharing tops net searches
File-swapping program Kazaa
The results show web surfers are still interested in such software
More people looked for information about the file-swapping program Kazaa than anything else on the net in 2003, according to search site Yahoo!.

It beat Harry Potter, Britney Spears and Eminem to top the list of the year's most popular search-for terms.

It shows that despite legal moves by the recording industry to clamp down on illegal music swapping, surfers are still interested in such software.

Cloning, Saddam Hussein and Iraq were the most searched-for news stories.

New entries

The boy wizard Harry Potter, Britney Spears and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), have held spots in Yahoo!'s Top 10 for three years in a row now.

But there were several new entries, including hotel chain heiress Paris Hilton who was the subject of a short private video which was released on the net.

Kazaa, which has more than 17 million registered users in Europe and the US, attracted attention in 2003 after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) took action to stop web users sharing music through such file-swapping software.

YAHOO!'S TOP 10 of 2003
Harry Potter stars
1 - Kazaa
2 - Harry Potter
3 - American Idol
4 - Britney Spears
5 - 50 Cent
6 - Eminem
7 - WWE
8 - Paris Hilton
10 - Christina Aguilera
Hundreds of subpoenas were issued to users of Kazaa and other similar applications in an attempt to clamp down on the activities.

The music industry also exerted pressure on net providers to identify customers suspected of file-swapping.

But earlier in December, the legal battle suffered a double blow when a US court said that the RIAA's way of trying to find music swappers was not allowed by law.

This was followed by a ruling by the Dutch Supreme Court that said Kazaa was not breaking the law.

The music industry has said copying of music over the net is partly to blame for falling CD sales worldwide.

Mobile phone ringtones was the most searched-for technology item, followed by digital cameras and mobile phones.

In a separate list published by MSN search, which has 15.8 million UK users, new search terms made appearances in the top 100 for the first time, including working from home, digital cameras and the Atkins diet.

Blow to online music piracy fight
19 Dec 03  |  Technology
Legal victory for file-swappers
20 Dec 03  |  Business
Yahoo profits double again
08 Oct 03  |  Business
Google expands operation to India
12 Dec 03  |  South Asia
Yahoo pays $1.6bn for tech rival
14 Jul 03  |  Business
Is Google good for you?
19 Dec 03  |  Technology

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