Even as Napster makes its final bid for survival, the alternative file-sharing system Aimster is expanding dramatically from within the walls of AOL’s Instant Messaging. Soon, Aimster will support ICQ and gain the ability to search Scour Exchange and the OpenNap Napster servers, which are not directly affiliated with its namesake and reportedly protected from judgments against the P2P company. Both Napster and Aimster have experienced a flood of new users in past weeks but Aimster has, thus far, avoided legal challenges. Aimster has circumvented AOL’s blocking efforts because, unlike the other messaging services seeking to interface with IM, it does not connect to AOL’s central computers. The new version of Aimster is to be available by the end of next week and plans are underway to link to other systems, including Microsoft’s MSN Messenger Service.