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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Australian Court Finds Kazaa Guilty of Copyright Infringement

An Australian court has found Kazaa, a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing service to have infringed copyright law.

A P2P is a network in which people can exchange files, most often music without paying for them.

The court has given Kazaa two months to install special filters prevent users of Kazaa to infringe on copyright.

Sherman Networks which owns Kazaa says it will appeal the decision.

If the ruling stands it will allow music companies to sue for damages. That would make the situation very interesting in the music industry.

The judge stated:

“The respondents have long known that the Kazaa system is widely used for the sharing of copyright files,”

“Far from taking steps that are likely to effectively curtail copyright file-sharing, Sharman Networks and Altnet have included on the Kazaa web site exhortations to users to increase their file sharing and a web page headed ‘Join the Revolution’ that criticizes record companies for opposing peer-to-peer file sharing,” he added.

Even though this ruling has taken place it seems that more and more people have begun to download music legally.

The fear of being sued or paying for the illegal music has shaken some off the illegal method. Others have become fearful of how easy viruses and worms can spread through a music file.

Here in Canada, a few months ago a court ruled that peer-to-peer networks were legal and were not violating copyright law.

It is an interesting sight for the music industry. They took down Napster. So, the logical question is: will Kazaa be next?


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