Digital Nerd

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Kazaa Deemed Illegal Down Under

Guess all the illegal downloads will now stop - pfffft!

Via CBS news:

(AP) A court ruled Monday that popular file-swapping network Kazaa breaches copyright in Australia and gave the service's owners two months to modify their Web site to prevent further piracy by its millions of users.

Although the ruling is only enforceable in Australia, the record industry hailed it as a victory that would resonate around the world.

"The court has ruled the current Kazaa system illegal. If they want to continue, they are going to have to stop the trade in illegal music on that system," record industry spokesman Michael Speck said outside the court. "It's a great day for artists. It's a great day for anyone who wants to make a living from music."

The Federal Court ruling culminated a long-running court battle between Australia's record industry and Kazaa.

The 10 defendants in the case include Kazaa's owners, Sharman Networks Ltd., and Sharman's Sydney-based chief executive officer, Nikki Hemming, as well as Altnet, a company that provided some of the software for the Kazaa Web site.

Federal Court Judge Murray Wilcox found six of them, including Hemming, Sharman Networks Ltd. and Altnet, infringed copyright and ordered them to pay 90 percent of the record industry's costs in the case. A hearing will be held at a later date to establish damages.

"These people have crowed for years about the downloads, 270 million downloads of somebody else's work each month," said Speck. "We will ask the court when it comes to damages to reflect the value of the music these people ripped off."

Lawyers for Kazaa said they would appeal but made no immediate detailed response to the ruling.

More here.

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