AfterDawn: Tech news

Kazaa trial to kick off in Australia on Monday

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Nov 2004 2:49 User comments (9)

Kazaa trial to kick off in Australia on Monday

The world’s major record labels are gathering their lawyers and experts to prepare for the next steps in their battle against illegal file-sharing. The Recording Industry vs. Kazaa will kick off in court on Monday. The Recording Industry is looking for action to stop illegal file-sharing and of course compensation for past illegal downloads, which could mean billions of dollars. The suit is targeting Sharman Networks (the owners of the Kazaa software), LEF Interactive; Altnet, which delivers so-called "piggyback" technology with Kazaa; Altnet-affiliated Brilliant Digital Entertainment; Sharman CEO Nicola Hemming; Altnet CEO Kevin Bermeister; and two technology directors.
The liability phase of the trial will go ahead on Monday, and if the court finds the named defendants liable for the mass piracy that has taken place through the use of Kazaa, the labels will begin to claim for damages. "We don't want to shut down Kazaa, just its illegal activities," said Michael Speck, general manager of Music Industry Piracy Investigations, a body set up by major Australian record labels to target copyright infringers. I don't understand how Kazaa would survive if Sharman had to pay billions of dollars of damages to the Recording Industry so I personally don't believe Mr. Speck's statement.

Sharman Networks claim that they urge their users not to commit music piracy, but also state that they cannot control the trading on their network. For this reason, everything from music to movies can be downloaded and shared using the network. In the United States, two federal courts in California have cleared Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. of liability but an appeal by the RIAA to the U.S. Supreme Court is still pending. Sharman Networks have also found legal luck in the past. In December 2003, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that Kazaa's Netherlands division cannot be held liable for copyright infringement. It will be interesting to see how things go in an Australian court.


Previous Next  

9 user comments

126.11.2004 22:01

they should sue car manufacturers for making cars that can transport pirated cd:s. also bag manufacturers are responsible if someone put´s a pirated cd in a such devilish invention.

227.11.2004 03:49

I think piracy is wrong but it is almost impossible to get rid of it completely. Sue one company, or some users than the mass population will simply find a better alternative - therefore piracy lives on - just in another form. Statiscally, Album sales are hitting record highs in the UK. Hollywood is seeing bigger profits than ever before. Therefore I dont see how downloading music and movies is affecting profits. What it does affect is potential profits which could significantly improve Hollywood's monopoly in the movie market etc. Most of my friends who download music using P2P, actually go out and buy the albums because the quality of music is much better. Thus the companies make their profits. Another major problem with CDs and albums is that people need to pay for the entire 15 songs or so, just to listen to their few favourites. Hence iTunes and other online music stores are making profits quite easily, because consumers have flexibility to pick and choose their own collections from multiple albums. This is the way of the future. It also makes music much more afforable to consumers, and is completely legal. Another flaw in all of this is, when movie makers complain about people downloading movies. Here is a perspective: 1) downloaded movies are generally of poorer quality, so people tend to buy them, 2) with the advent of DVD burners, what is stopping people from renting DVDs and burning them a copy which is much better and a lot quicker than downloading, and at the fraction of a cost to actually buying the DVD, 3) what is stopping people from recording movies straight from TV, 4) why is it that people downloading TV shows from the web are pirating, even though they can record it straight from the TV onto their VCRs or DVD recorders. Technically all of the above is piracy, but to put that into perspective, you need to suing 50% of the world. There needs to be a better solution to this problem of piracy because it is impossible to stop it, without continued efforts to making music / movies etc to be more afforable, and much more easy to access. The way we are heading with all the lawsuits, piracy is still to be present in one form or another.

327.11.2004 08:33

i think it should be illegal for them to sue the downloader....... they should only be able to sue the person who puts it on the internet. or the company providing the place that gives you the opertunity to aquire it

427.11.2004 09:01

More wasted money in the courts.I wish they would put it to better use.You can bet that it will be all paid for by the tax payers as usual.

527.11.2004 15:55

rdevanat, good words. the reason VCRs are legal is because they have legitimate uses. who decides what is legal and what is not? i personally download music, but then usually buy albums if i like the majority of the songs. if there are no good songs and the album is just a bunch of stupid hype, then i definitely wont waste my money. for example: "The Used -In Love and Death", downloaded it, liked every song on the album, then went out and bought it. no lost profits. "Green Day - American Idiot", downloaded it, with good expectations as i had loved all their previous albums, and therefore bought them. hated almost every song on it, didnt waste my money. lost profits on their part for changing their style and turning out to sound like god-awful Simple Plan. so you see, any lost profits are usually the fault of the artist, not the "pirate" who downloads some songs to make sure they are worth the 15 bucks they'll have to pay otherwise.

627.11.2004 17:36

Daemon, exactly true. There is no point going out to buy an album and then find out it is completely crap, or pay for 15 songs but only get 3. Let's face it, most albums are like this. Until now, the music industry has told the public what they want, but it is about time the public decided what they are willing to pay for - and if it means not buying an album and not willing to pay for 15 songs, because he/she only wants 3 - then thats what feeds piracy and file sharing. There are probably programs out there already, but I am just curious. Why cant MPAA produce a website where people can download unlimited movies (DVD quality etc) for a set low monthly fee. We all do this for having cell phones, or cable TV. Basically Netflix uses this concept for DVD rentals. Unlimited rentals for a set monthly fee, and no set contracts. Other companies around the world are doing this also. So, why not introduce it for downloading movies. Basically an iTune concept with a difference. I am sure this will be much more profitable as people will definitely pay and therefore download legally. Will also save plenty of legal costs. This will also fuel broadband sales, because you need broadband to download good quality movies. Cost is a major issue, and that is why piracy is rife all around the world. The solution is to defeat this cost barrier. Breaking the cost barrier will lessen piracy, and will allow young people, students and people who just cannot afford to pay 12 dollars per movie - to enjoy the works of Hollywood. Is this not a possibility, if not already though of by MPAA etc etc. Is MPAA listening?

727.11.2004 20:51

If they could do that, without the DRM nonsense, I would be impressed. They could possibly do it with DRM, but I wouldn't like that at all.

828.11.2004 05:25

The problem here is there is always going to be piracy. Perhaps in the distant future, something will change, but for now, piracy will live on. I'm not saying I support it, but whenever one thing goes down, something else will come back up. Just wait until the majority of people discovers bit torrent for example, then there will be big problems. But, even if online piracy is shutdown some how, like previously stated, someone could just rent a dvd and burn it for themselves. This is a big problem within the world right now and so far, I'm not sure if it can be controlled.

928.11.2004 05:28

Oh one other thing, living in Canada, I know that Canada isn't really to keen on getting rid of piracy. The current state is, it's not legal, but no one can get sued because its just sharing, which doesn't seem to violate any of our laws. I believe that is what the supreme court found a while ago...

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive