AfterDawn: Tech news

Dutch judge orders Kazaa to shut down

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 29 Nov 2001 2:17

Dutch court ordered today that mega-popular FastTrack-based P2P application Kazaa has to shut down within 14 days if company doesn't find a way to prevent users from sharing copyrighted content through the service.
Case was brought to Amsterdam district court by Buma/Stemra, an association that represents Dutch composers, songwriters and music publishers.

If Kazaa doesn't shut down after 14 days, Kazaa will have to pay 100,000 guilders (appx. $40,000) a day, with a maximum of 2 million guilders, the judge ruled.

Kazaa is puzzled by the verdict and it doesn't understand exactly what to do, said KaZaA's attorney Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm. "Our software can't disappear, it is already out there," he said. "And the minute we take down our Web site, mirrors will appear."

Respected P2P analyst from Webnoize, Lee Black, told the press after the verdict that this was a typical example of court ruling over the issue that it doesn't understand. FastTrack-based software doesn't require central servers, specific company's clients or any administration whatsoever -- software has been created and it will be available virtually forever as long as users use it, despite judges shutting down original FastTrack client companies. Only thing what could shut down the network is to force FastTrack to make modifications to the network -- but even FastTrack can't control the network totally.

FastTrack and two companies using FastTrack's technology, Grokster and MusicCity, got sued by American music industry earlier this fall.

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