A semi-successful search engine that fell prey to the whole "portal" craze along with AltaVista, Excite, and other sites. Originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University (http://lycos.cs.cmu.edu), Carnegie Mellon still holds the copyright and undoubtedly receives substantial income from the current holders Terra Networks (who call it Terra Lycos).
Lycos was developed originally by Michael L. "Fuzzy" Mauldin, a research scientist in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. A plaque honoring Mauldin stands in the Perlis Atrium of Newell-Simon Hall. Lycos was first made available for free on the Internet in October 1994, although it was by no means the first Internet index and directory to be published on-line. In 1995, CMG@Ventures purchased exclusive rights to Lycos Spider technology, and further developed the site. The whole thing never really took off, although Lycos offered many services that other portals did not. For example, Lycos was offering an on-line MP3 search to users' FTP sites while Shawn Fanning hadn't even dreamed of Napster yet.
The final big transition came in October 2000, six years after Lycos debuted, when Spanish- and Portuguese-language content provider Terra Networks purchased Lycos and integrated it with its existing holdings. While not a big player in English-language webspace, the sites' operating expenses have been reduced through consolidation and economies of scale.
Lycos went from small-time search engine to big-time web portal, to a cog in a machine. Only in America? Not even.