Music industry claims Kazaa win

by admin September 5, 2005 at 2:36 pm

The Federal Court of Australia has dealt a heavy blow to the managers of peer-to-peer software Kazaa, finding they had authorised users to infringe music industry copyright and directing them to modify the application to reduce the practice.

The infringing respondents — Sharman Networks, LEF Interactive, Sharman CEO Nicole Hemming, Altnet and Brilliant Digital Entertainment boss Kevin Bermeister — were ordered to pay 90 percent of the music industry’s court costs.

Justice Murray Wilcox this afternoon ruled largely in favour of music labels, including Universal, Sony, Warner and Festival Mushroom, which had argued that the Kazaa software — owned by Australian-based Sharman Networks — was used to undertake copyright infringement on a massive scale. The labels had also targeted United States-based Altnet, which provides a search technology for Kazaa and is a close partner of Sharman.

While Justice Wilcox dismissed the music industry’s claims the Kazaa parties had contravened the Trade Practices Act and engaged in conspiracy — and dismissed as “overstated” the industry’s allegation that Kazaa’s owners were engaged in copyright-infringing behaviour themselves — he said: “The more realistic claim is that the respondents authorised users to infringe the applicants’ copyright in their sound recordings.”

Full article: ZDNet Australia