Kazaa Hit With Class Action

By Jon Newton 12/08/06

Yesterday, "It can only be a matter of time before Sharman Networks' Kazaa p2p application shows up as the star in a class action," p2pnet posted in a story on a new RIAA customer persecution case involving Thomas J. Korb and the members of Big Four Organized Music cartel, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG.

Why? Because Kazaa, "seems to be almost always front and centre in every Big Four Organized Music cartel sue 'em all case," we said.

And now it's happened.

Jon Newton

Catherine Lewan was a Kazaa user who was sued by the Big Four's RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for using the p2p application, owned by Australia's Sharman Networks.

She was one of the people who paid extortion money to the RIAA and in a court document, says Sharman, "configured KaZaA such that its intended use would be illegal".

It also deceptively marketed its product as allowing "free downloads," fired back Recording Industry vs The People. Kazaa designed its software, "in such a manner as to create a shared files folder and make that folder available to anyone using Kazaa, while at the same time failing to make the user aware that it had done so," says the post, going on:

"It surreptitiously installed 'spyware' on users' computers which made the shared files folder accessible to the Kazaa network even after the user had removed the Kazaa software from his or her computer."

Represented by Charles Mudd, Lewan is the first to name Kazaa specifically, but she won't be the last. The "amount in controversy exceeds $75,000," says Lewan's claim.

When Sharman paid $115 million in Kazaa settlement fees, we wondered what would happen to the personal information it has on millions of people around the world. We still wonder.

Definitely stay tuned.

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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