All Gnutella needs for this is one client which allows URIs/URLs for files like Edonkey has (ed2k://). Someone could click on such a URI and, say, Gnucleus could open up and do a search for that particular search, and perhaps even automatically start downloading it. This way there could be in-network searches still, as well as out-of-band URI's of files passed around on ICQ, AIM, IRC, e-mail, message boards and web sites like Filenexus
. It allows for external, out-of-band meta-data file servers, but even if they were shut down things would be OK. Those file servers could even allow people to download compressed flat files of their databases so that if they were shut down, the servers could be set up again. By the time the bad guys figure out a way to put a stop to this, someone will have figured out a way to have a distributed meta-data system, perhaps using signatures and the like for integrity.