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The server is being crushed by the number of people downloading the free versions.

I also see people using "download accelerators" - if you have these configured improperly, or you use one of the ones that throws open as many connections to the server as it can take, you will have the problem. I kill clients that open up 20 or 30 simultaneous sessions on the server - it's bad behavior for a "download accelerator" to do that.