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The open-source file sharing application Shareaza has been going through some tough times lately. They had their domain hijacked by a company called Discordia Ltd. back in December 2007, which is the same company who turned Bearshare and iMesh into paid services. On the site they then started offering an app called “Shareaza 4″ that promotes legal downloads. If a user installs the “new” Shareaza any older version of the real open-source application will be removed. Discordia has even gone as far as to file for a trademark registration for the Shareaza name. *sigh*

What does the Shareaza development team have up their sleeves now? They are actually working a new project that they’re calling Panther, and it’s slated for release on August 25th. It does everything that Shareaza is already capable of, plus some. Things like better BitTorrent support, skin support, not using the registry, and a revamped media player are all included.

Pre-release versions of Panther can be found here, but there are still quite a few bugs in it right now. As seen in the screenshot above there is still a lot packed into the program, but it’s tough to beat if you’re looking for an all-in-one file sharing solution that works on the BitTorrent, Gnutella1, Gnutella2, and ED2K networks. I’d just hold out until the official launch of Panther where it will likely be more polished than it is right now.

P.S. The real Shareaza homepage is now located on SourceForge’s servers.

[via TorrentFreak]