Kazaa Decision Due Today

By Jon Newton 9/5/05

Tomorrow is slated to be a Big Day for Kazaa, the once-popular Sharman Networks p2p application.

Then, judge Murray Wilcox, who's been hearing the arguments for and against since day one, is to rule on “whether the peer-to-peer network is no different from a photocopier or is a giant "engine of copyright piracy," as News1, New Brisbane, sums it up.

In the line of fire are Sharman Networks, Sharman License Holdings and Sharman‘s Sydney-based chief executive officer, Nikki Hemming who, some say, is one of the application’s real owners.

Jon Newton

“If the defendants are ruled liable, Wilcox will hold a fresh round of hearings to determine the level of damages, which could run into the millions of dollars,” says the story.

“But whatever the outcome, observers say users of peer-to-peer services around the world already are leaving Kazaa for services which allow quicker downloads.”

However, quicker downloads aren't the single issue. Among a number of other things, unfortunately for Sharman many, if not most, of the RIAA's (Recording Industry Association of America) victims in its sue 'em all marketing campaign were using Kazaa.

Meanwhile, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) senior intellectual property lawyer Fred von Lohmann is quoted as saying the ruling, and other cases against peer-to-peer networks, hold wider implications for new technologies.

"If Sharman‘s claims are to be credited, the dissolution of all the Kazaa-related business entities would not stop the millions of copies of Kazaa from continuing to function, so even the remaining Kazaa users are unlikely to be effected by the ruling one way or the other," he said.


Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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