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Monday, 5 September 2005

AUSTRALIAN COURT RULES ON KAZAA


The Times reports that the Australian federal court has found that Sharman Networks, the company responsible for the software that powers the KaZaa file sharing network is guilty of copyright infringement, as are those who upload on to the network and download from the network. Judge Murray Wilcox stated

"The respondents authorised users to infringe the applicants’ copyright in their sound recordings,".

Sharman argued that it could not control how users used its system, but the court countered that Sharman knew users were making copyright-infringing downloads and had the power to prevent them from doing so, but chose not to exercise that power.

KaZaa has not been closed down, but the court has ordered Sharman to put copyright filters in place, and to pay 90% of the costs of the record companies who brought the action. Sharman plans to appeal.

The IPKat reckons this is a sensible decision – it acknowledges that one can’t justify copyright infringement by arguing that copyright works should be treated when they are on the internet, but allows what could be an innovative and legal site to remain up and running.

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