AfterDawn: Tech news

Dutch appeals court: KaZaA is legal

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 28 Mar 2002 8:46

Shock-waves are hitting U.S. media companies' offices when Dutch appeals court overturned Dutch court's decision and declared that KaZaA can legally distribute its P2P program to users and that it is users' responsibility to decide how they use the program.
This is exactly what pro-P2P parties have argued since day one when Napster was sued back in 1999 -- it should be user's decision whether he/she downloads or shares copyrighted material or not. Major difference between KaZaA and Napster is the fact that KaZaA doesn't operate any central servers unlike Napster did, so the company can't control what users distribute in its network.

"We are stunned by the verdict," a Buma Stemra's, Dutch recording industry's association's, spokesman said after the decision. He also added that Buma Stemra can appeal the decision further to Dutch High Court (which compares to U.S. Supreme Court, it's decisions are final).

Unfortunately the decision came too late to save KaZaA -- company sold its assets to Australian Sharman Networks earlier this winter. However, FastTrack, whose technology KaZaA and other similiar P2P tools are based, continues to operate in Netherlands and licenses its technology to Grokster and KaZaA.

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