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Kazaa denies recording industry claims in day 2 of trial

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 30 Nov 2004 3:37 User comments (2)

Kazaa denies recording industry claims in day 2 of trial Today in Sydney, Tony Meagher, a lawyer for Sharman denied the claims the Recording Industry made yesterday, which were that Kazaa not only allowed mass piracy, that it actually encourages it. Mr. Meagher said that there is no way that the owners of Kazaa could be held responsible for the actions of its estimated 100 million users, who share about 3 billion audio and video files. He told the court that this case has similarities to a case in 1984 where electronics giant Sony were found not liable for the actions of its customers when they used their Betamax video recorder illegally, because the technology can be used for many legit purposes. "It is plain Kazaa has lawful uses," Mr. Meagher told federal court judge Murray Wilcox.
The Recording Industry wants the court to find Kazaa liable for the actions of its users so it can actually stand a chance at stomping out P2P filesharing. In the United States in August, the ninth US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco ruled that Grokster and StreamCast could not be held liable for the actions of their users. Mr. Meagher told the court also today that owners of Kazaa did not authorize its use for piracy, but have no way of stopping it. When you install Kazaa you accept an agreement that states you cannot use the network for piracy. Recording Industry lawyer Tony Bannon then decided to make a very strange hit back at the claims of the defense.

Mr. Bannon told the court that Kazaa had a zero tolerance policy towards child pornography and promised to stomp out trading of child porn on Kazaa. He then made the argument that if Kazaa can control the sharing of child porn then they can also control the sharing of pirated mp3 files on the network. "Either that is true or that is false. Either they are saying to the community, the world community, that we do have a no tolerance policy on child pornography and we have set up a system which permits an extraordinary proliferation of material around the world but children of this world should rest easy that we have the ability to terminate Kazaa users, our users of our system which we set up, if they breach that no tolerance policy. Either that is true or that is false," he said.

In my own opinion, you cannot compare child porn to pirated mp3 files, and that’s probably the opinion of most of the worlds P2P users. It also would seem that any action taken on child pornography on Kazaa was in co-operation with authorities as several home raids and arrests did take place. Other than that the only other action against it was the adding of filters as default to each downloaded Kazaa client. I would not find this as successfully controlling the sharing of child pornography. I think the recording industry just had nothing else to say so decided to bring up child porn in court in the hopes of turning people against Kazaa, a pretty dirty tactic but the Recording Industry has proven in the past that they are full of dirty tricks. If you believe that Kazaa is evil because a small number of people share this type of content, then I'm sorry to have to tell you about the thousands of child porn websites on the Internet, this horrible material doesn’t just exist on P2P networks.

So the Recording Industry thinks it would be just as easy to control 100,000,000 file-sharers who have some pirated MP3 as it would be a small number of people sharing child porn. I don't think so.

The Guardian

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2 user comments

14.12.2004 4:39

Kazaa is no more liable for what people do than if somebody purchases a gun legally and then commits a crime. Sharing has always been a part of human action and it will continue to be so, because it is natural. Best to All! Rodgers

29.12.2004 17:01

What Kazaa was saying by stating that it won't tolerate child porn is the fact that they are tired of the idiots sharing that crap and making it look bad for those who Download other stuff. They did not say they had any control over it. Its like me saying I am tired of the RIAA complaining but it does not mean I have control over the Internet. They are stupid and need to be laughed out of court. Becides if I am not wrong you can use Kazaa to trade files from your computers in your network. If I connect two computers to a Linksys Router and run Kazaa, Limewire, or any decentralized p2p app I bet I could search and Download from the other computer I own. It can be used to transfer your files from your Laptop to your desktop easily. But I know that is not the issue just pointing out the fact that I've done so. I like Napster because I can Download an unlimited number of tracks and listen to them on my iRiver player so long as I subscribe and that is fair cuz its just $9.95/Mo. So I don't see what the fuss is all about. You should try it before you knock it. I still use p2p as well and I think the RIAA needs to allow all meterial to be on the paid Napster for a flat rate subscription. Sure I can't burn to CD without paying $.99 but that is fair I guess.

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