AfterDawn: Tech news

Kazaa loses in court

Written by Jari Ketola @ 05 Sep 2005 3:59 User comments (49)

Kazaa loses in court Peer-to-peer software maker Kazaa has been ordered by the Australian court to implement filters to its software. Kazaa's owners will also have to pay damages to the Australian music industry. Sharman Networks, the owners of Kazaa, were ordered to pay 90% of the record companies' legal costs. The amount of damages will be determined later.
According to the courts ruling Kazaa, its owners and executives had knowingly allowed Kazaa users to illegally swap copyrighted songs. The court found the defendants guilty of copyright infringement even though the infringements were carried out by Kazaa users.

Kazaa must now implement filters to block the sharing of copyrighted content. They must also apply "maximum pressure" to the users of the software to upgrade their software to the filtered version. How the filters will be implemented remains to be seen.

Sharman Networks has announced it will appeal the ruling on some parts.

In June US supreme court saw that Grokster and Morpheus promoted their products as a device for copyright infringement and ruled against them. The European Commission is also preparing a directive that would criminalise indirect copyright infringement.

The complete ruling is available through the Australasian Legal Information Institute.

Sydney Morning Herald
ZDNet Australia

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49 user comments

15.9.2005 4:22

P2P Is indeed falling apart.. However, this is not a bad thing as such. Many KaZaA users will move to other networks increasing it's population. Which means more peers on the networks. More files will be hosted and will probably improve them. The amount of junk that KaZaA has is disgusting yet so many people use it not knowing of the extras it contains. It is yet another dent in P2P but try to look on the bright side. -Mike

25.9.2005 5:02

mike you kinda contradict yourself because if kazaa is full of junk wouldnt bringing it to other networks be a bad thing? damn, who still uses kazaa anyway??

35.9.2005 5:57

look on the bright side? most have turned away frmon fasttrack already

45.9.2005 6:09

They must also apply "maximum pressure" to the users of the software to upgrade their software to the filtered version. luck with that one. Can anyone say torrent? Because that is exactly what people who don't want to go to "filtered" programs are going to do. Sad though...even though it lost alot of steam cause of the spyware/adware issues, it was still a good product. :P
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Sep 2005 @ 6:10

55.9.2005 6:24

hmmmmmm does anyone actually use kazaa anymore come to think of it i havent had it installed on my machine for about 2 years or more. You have to pay to use now days dont you? Kazaa WAS good about 3 years ago when it was forming and wasnt full of renamed porn and garbage files but now its just ruined. Although i havent tried the pay for one iz it actually worth paying for it when you can just use Torrents or mIRC or DC++

65.9.2005 6:36

I hope they dont go after limewire

75.9.2005 7:36

shhhhhh! don't even mention that! ....maybe they'll forget about it.

85.9.2005 7:42

They wont. The only reason kazaa got busted was because they knowingly allowed Kazaa users to illegally swap copyrighted songs . Whereas limewire have always maintained they have no control over what traffic passes through their software

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Sep 2005 @ 7:44

95.9.2005 7:43

I'm not sure why Kazaa didn't change their software LONG ago. It was hacked long ago by the industry......AND THEY NEVER UPGRADED THEIR SOFTWARE! stupid stupid.

105.9.2005 7:49

mike you kinda contradict yourself because if kazaa is full of junk wouldnt bringing it to other networks be a bad thing
When I said junk, I was referring to the amount of spyware, adware, viruses etc. that the actual KaZaA application contains. Sorry If I didn't make that clear. -Mike

115.9.2005 8:58

Yeah, I tried to download 1 mp3 from kazaa for my brother and it was impossible. All you get is garbage. The only thing Kazaa is good for is porn.... Also, how does this copyright infringing work? If you already own the CD and do not have the tools to extract or convert the files, why can't you just download a song that you want from your CD? A lot of people still do not know how to extract songs from a CD. It is a rip off to buy 1 song for $1. Luckily I do not listen to any music other than what I play myself and that is mainly Baroque music with my own transcriptions, so I can't get arrested for my playing (I bet you they will start doing this since it will be so easy to just record yourself playing music at full quality and turn it into a CD). I don't see why people even buy CDs any more. I would love to see what would happen if people stop buying music for even 1 month.

125.9.2005 9:17

"Kazaa must now implement filters to block the sharing of copyrighted content." OOOKAY. Now who maintains the filters the RIAA? Do they supply the information of what is copywritten and what is not? If so how does they RIAA prove that the label they represent actually OWNS the copyright to what needs to be blocked? This is gonna be a TON of work for the RIAA!

135.9.2005 10:26

yes its going to be impossible to filter searches in this way. but if they kill kazaa then people will just move somewhere else. p2p will be around for some time yet - legal and illegal.

145.9.2005 12:32

Whatever happens with fasttrack, existing Kazaa clients cannot be forced off the networks, however much "Pressure" they're put under. This could also mean good news for the users of hacked versions such as Kazaa Lite for example, because once safe in the knowledge that content for users is filtered, the media companies will stop paying vast amounts on circulating fake/corrupted files. Also, it's widely believed that any new version of kazaa will impliment a whole new protocol. This will mean that any users on the "Old" system will have accquired their own little "Niche" to go on as before.

155.9.2005 12:36

LIMEWIRE PRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

165.9.2005 12:39

It doesn't concern me in the least. Fasttrack was already plagued by a million and one problems anyway. I'm not too worried about them targeting LimeWire either - there are tons of Gnutella clients out there.

175.9.2005 12:57

Never really enjoyed Kazza it had to much spyware. Kazza was loaded with that stuff. Had to run a few programs to finally take all the spyware stuff off.

185.9.2005 13:04

i dl kazaa like 4 years ago

Omega Shenron

195.9.2005 14:00

kazaa was good in its day, now all i use it for is videos & movies. i mainly use bittorent for pretty much everything else except idividual songs, then i use bearshare lite.

205.9.2005 14:07

Like in the previous post "Kazaa Was good in its day... Like many things must come to an end... They may have one the first battle they havent won the war :) i just suggest we use software to block our I.P Addresses... The world of file sharing will never stop...

215.9.2005 14:09

Yeah it used to be good but i would download something and i play it and there would be nothing. It was good tho i could get an average of 20 and max out around 100kb sometimes it would go higher for a second or 2.

225.9.2005 15:13

Most of y'all are talking about Kazaa light (K++). K++ hasn't been in develpment for about 2 1/2 years. Its code has seen slight yet ineffective itterations in apps like "Kazaa Resurrection". P2P apps these days use filters to weed out bad, corrupt, or fake files.

235.9.2005 18:07

Then its Warez p2p all the way. They have filters but you have a choice wether you want to filter copyrighted content or not. (dont let the name get to you)

246.9.2005 3:08

Why don't we all teach the recording labels not to mess with our P2P - don't buy their wares. By taking out KaZaA, they are expecting CD sales to go up. However, if we prove these predictions wrong, there is a very good chance that they will look at themselves. Let's support the artists, not the companies that exploit them, go to concerts more than ever, join fan clubs, just don't buy cd's. Imagine what a message that will send. It will help other P2P operators defend themselves - people don't whant CDs. This must be done now so that it can be shown that "CD sales fell right after the courts ruled against KaZaA".

256.9.2005 3:16

Look im not totally against buying CD's I just feel the prices are inflated too high and $30 is too much... If the prices drop to between $15 to $20 Aus $$ then i would buy more new release music...

266.9.2005 3:22

hey donuts and some above users--- i believe that not buying cd's will make them get more lawsuits-----on torrents and p2p because if we do go buy cd's and the sales stay high= then they will realize that file sharing is not truly messing up ther money situation----and then they will say hey maybe file sharing is making our cd's sell more cause they download and listen then buy---so truth is keep buying as well as sharing---maybe they will see the light besides they now got ringtones

276.9.2005 3:30

mike-ray thats a little confusing. btw p2p is being scapegoated for the slump in sales. there are a trillion other reasons that i cba to dig up again

286.9.2005 3:34

mikey_ray, if we start buying CDs now, after KaZaA has fallen, this will reinforce their dilusion that P2P is to blame for the slump in CD sales. Furthermore, the bigger the slump in CD sales immediatly after this court case, the greater the chance that KaZaA can use that as evidence in their appeal. Yes, the 7:30 report said that KaZaA will appeal. Long Live P2P.......and Camelot, for good measure ;)

296.9.2005 4:35

yah !! actually kazaa deserve itO_Oi heard MANY complains about stealth and copyright stuff and i hope it gets shut DOWN!!besides it takes alot of ur memory^_^ Ares <<this is da best ><><><><><><byez><><><><><><

306.9.2005 5:42

sorry, but ares..........?!?

316.9.2005 6:38

If CD sales go down, 'the man' will blame file sharing. If sales go up, 'the man' will say the crack down is working. C'est la vie ;)

326.9.2005 7:01

lol thats the perfect cliche for all this!

336.9.2005 20:47

Still, it's better for Cd sales to go down, less CD sales les money for "the man" to attack us with ;) - I guess it evens out the playing field. Besides, the man lives off money, cut the food supply and he'll starve ;)

347.9.2005 1:51

The RIAA is out of control. Another example of big business pushing politicians to do the wrong thing and crushing the smaller business', and the individuals who can't even afford to put up a decent defense. I could care less about Kazaa, if they decide to record conversations about the potential illeagal uses of their product and not doing anything about it, that's their problem. I'm talking about the whole big picture of "10% of the population controlling 90% of the wealth". Ethics and morality are not the issue with the courts, it's all about the money. Wasn't it Sony who had to fight in court when VCRs were first introduced? and won. Why is P2P different than a piece of hardware? IMHO shouldn't all manufacturers of DVD-R, VCR, photocopier, cassette recorder, camera and pencil for that matter, be all 'accountable' for providing a 'possible' copyright infringment medium??? We all know how effective the 'hardware' copyright protection is, as with P2P you just need to know what you are doing... The Sony's, Panasonic's and Toshiba's... can defend themselves and in doing so protect the little guys in their shadow. The 'recording industry' is going after people who can't defend themselves. I just wonder where it's going to end. Just had to vent that. :P

357.9.2005 2:07

yes, well said i totally agree

367.9.2005 2:18

dvdbert, are you sure shareman networks is not a big business as well? I believe it's the Australian courts who described Shareman also as a big business. This makes sense when one recalls that KaZaA comes bundled with spyware. I'm not siding with the enemy. I guess it all comes down to who's got better lawyers and where the prejudices of the judge and jury lie. Furhermore, does anyone know if KaZaA's legal team speculated as to why CD sales have fallen? It would have been a great defense, showing the real reason for the slump in CD sales.

377.9.2005 4:09

you all made valid points--i guess i just think-and this my opinion whether i can download or not--if i truly like something im gonna buy it---thats just me

387.9.2005 11:49

The headline may read Kazaa Loses In Court but the reality is that the Music Industry are just slowly cutting their own throats. What a buch of dummies they are. Then they do take advice from accountants and lawyers and not those who really know the music industry. These bean counters will still get their whopping fees no matter if sales go up or, and as most thinking people know, continue the downward spiral. Then I guess the boards of these companies need some story to give to the shareholders. Eventually all their excuses will run dry and the real reasons for CD sales dropping will come to the forefront. That is unless they can find another excuse. Maybe they can blame katrina next. How about global warming. Here's an idea. Sack all those bean counters and lawyers and hire some inovative thinkers to run the business. Oh I forgot they sacked all those guys.

398.9.2005 0:28

Good point whoozhe, it's just that I and I'm sure, everyone else, doesn't whant to lose P2P.

408.9.2005 8:08

Kazaa is one of those making money off P2P, and they trick millions of people to install spyware on their computer. I know, because a lot of tech support calls originate from Kazaa, and they have no idea why they are getting popups and crap. Anyway, I'm glad Kazaa is getting attacked. They deserve it.

418.9.2005 13:09

It is very interesting to read evryone's comments about Kazaa, so I thought it was time to put my 5 cents worth in. First I am an Aussie and I sell legal music at markets around my home town of Newcastle. We can buy stock that has been returned to the warehouse and sell it for $8 AUD each. Aussie music is just about obsolete as far as buying particular artists. People ask us for Aussie country music and we have to tell them to ring a certain radio station to get the address as the artists now sell their own music to bypass the hungry pigs who sell a CD which costs 40 cents and retails for $35. We have a thing in Australia called the Golden Guitar (Country Music Awards) but to be eligible to win one of the awards you must be signed with the one and only company who back the awards program. Even if you were Elvis himself you could not win at these awards unless you had signed your life and all future earnings to this one company. Aussie music DOWNHILL all the way

428.9.2005 18:01

Australia has a music industry?! Who knew...

439.9.2005 5:30

I've never used Kazaa, I use Imesh. I wonder with these filters and their ability to detect copyrighted material, is that worked around by not simply ripping tracks off Cd's, but playing while recording with Soundforge or similar, then putting THAT track up for download?

4410.9.2005 4:06

I seems to me that the record companies are trying to blame everyone else for their problems. First they like to use funny math to grossly overstate their supposed revenue loss due to file sharing. By their account, if 100 users per day download 1 song through P2P they claim $100 in lost revenue. That claim is based on the ludicrous assumption that all 100 of those downloaders would have purchased the same songs in stores. I would be very surprized if more than 20 of these downloaders purchased those songs, which would then account for $20 lost revenue. Not $100. I believe that the real reason for the record companies decline in profits is the shortage of recording talent today, as opposed to say ten years ago when the Grunge, Alternative, and New Country revolutions were going strong. I know for a fact that I spent a lot more money on music purchases ten years ago than I do now.

4512.9.2005 18:16

Being a semi-pro musician for the past 25 years I need to add my 2 cents on whats going on. The record labels seem to think that p2p is hurting their sales? If I were them, I would look at some of the crap they are trying to pass off as music these days. I'm not complaining about any certain genre but if an artist sells millions of copies of an album (cd), within a year all the labels are looking for the exact same thing. To illustrate my point just look at 50 Cent et. al. Or you can see Shania Twain. And the shit they call music is a reason people don't buy anymore. I know I won't buy a cd if only 1 or 2 songs are any good and the rest is just filler. The labels are too interested in things that just don't matter like age and looks. My cousin had a development deal with Warner and they had them replace their singer and drummer because they didn't look "right" and then after 3 years they just dropped them. A good friend of mine after flying to Las Vegas for a showcase was told she was too old (35) and was sent packing. If the record companies want to stop their sales decline quit blaming everybody else and start giving the people something they want to buy.

4613.9.2005 1:25

From reading recent posts, I'm getting the impression that record companies only market to 12-15 year old girls. In that case, the courts are right, if they can't download it on their/daddy's computer, they will make mummy buy it for them. Hence the solution to save P2P: Stop sharing anything that demographic would download. Then in theory,(I am not soliciting piracy, piracy is against the law) anything else could be pirated without anyone making too much of a fuss about it. Notice how pirated software has been available for download for a long time, however, there havn't been any court cases until recently - programs are daddy's department. Furthermore, who else watches crap like "Australian Idol"??? (or maybe this demographic can e expanded to people who think like or think they are 12-15 year old girls) Mind you, it may be these same dumb kids that don't get KaZaA Lite or such and keep KaZaA going. The new reports make seem to make now. In conclusion, responsible P2P users are being punished by some little girls. The scary question: who is the majority?????

4714.9.2005 5:48

The problem is extremely simple, and I haven't heard this explanation yet. It's based on the principles of supply and demand in a marketplace. The recording industry is going wild because they tend to do that every time there is some new technology out which allows people to hear music in a new way. When audio recorders came out I'm sure the flipped out wondering how many $ they were losing to people taping songs off the radio. From their point of view recorders should have been illegal just for that possibility. That's what happens when you're in the "intellectual property" business. You are not producing anything of actual substance. It's like if you are a baker and someone stands outside smelling the bread baking--and you want them to pay you for the experience. :-) In the "old" world, you could hear a song on the radio and tape it for free if you liked it and wanted to hear it whenever you wanted. If you didn't know anything about recording, you would buy the record/tape/cd if you could afford it, and take the rest of the songs as well, although often they were't as good. So you would build a collection of records. Most people don't have unlimited space and resources so they would stop buying records after a while. In fact, recorded music hasn't been available for enough generations for the record companies to know exactly how many records the average user would buy over their lifetime. The same generation used to buy records and tapes, and when CDs came out everybody was wowed by the sound and many re-bought their collections on CD. Also people don't change their taste in music througout life in most cases. So people who were used to a certain type of music, keep listening to the same songs throughout their life and don't often get into new types of music. The "problem" is this--like with all types of information, computers make it easy to get a lot of it, and store it very cheaply and easily. So while in the past you could manage to build a collection of say 100 or 200 cd's if you were really dedicated to music. Now you can get an unlimited number of songs (if you are dedicated) and sample as much music as you want for free. If you actually want to hear all of it then it would be like listening to the radio all the time. You can't really listen to the same song over and over again if you want to hear them all. The music industry wants stuff the old way--so they say, we'll let people download, but they gotta pay $1 per song just like it would cost on a CD. But they don't understand that they can't "create" the market. The market doesn't work like that. If the supply of something exceeds the demand or if there is an endless supply of something, the price is gonna be very low or non-existent. Some people want to get all the songs they know from the 50's to today. Few people can spend thousands of $ on thousands of songs. With filesharing, etc, you can download, say, the top 3 thousand songs of all time. Not only would that cost $3,000 as the record companies would want it, but it would take you a hell of a lot of time to select and download all those individual songs. Now you can go to a newsgroup, and find someone posted all of them, and you just go and download it all. Would take you a few hours and a few DVDs but it would be yours for the taking. In most cases you would not want to spend $3000 for this 3000 song collection, but maybe you would buy it for $200. But since the music companies see every song as a "jewel" worth $1, they would not sell it for $200--they would want at least $2000. But too bad--the supply is too great, and in the old world they would not be able to sell most people in their lifetime 250 records, and as we know, most songs on records are not good except one or two which usually sell the record. Remember--individuals only live a certain number of years, unfortunately, and only buy music for even less of those years. The filesharing programs are not the issue at all. The sharing of data is simple and easy to do with computers and the internet, and the record companies want to stop something thats impossible to stop. They would probably be very happy if music contained audible watermarks that would stop recorders from taping it off the radio. They are greedy and want to make every $ they can. But businesses always are built on maximizing their profits. So you can't really blame them, but they are too foolish to understand how the world has changed, and they are trying to put the genie back in the bottle. But technology moves on and things can't go back to the way they used to be. People selling horse carriages sure wanted to stop people from buying automobiles. Some of them I'm sure got into the auto business as well. Simply, if the record companies want to stay in business, they must sell CDs for a lot less and make music available for download real cheap, like pennies not dollars because they have to compete with a new marketplace. When dollar stores can sell tangible goods made china for $1, and buy them for pennies, I'm sorry, record companies can't expect people to pay $1 for a song when everything ever recorded is almost free and completely available for download. They can try all they want but they will not be able to stop it from being available--if they want to stay in business, they gotta change their act. Not to mention that the internet makes it much easier for new artists to promote themselves and makes it viable for new "record companies" to exist.

4818.9.2005 9:25

Yeah, I've noticed that a lot of the music you want, they don't have. Instead they got all this terrible pop music. -Mike

4930.9.2005 8:41

okay i need help my stupied winmx stop working so i downloaded lime wire and the dowmloaded files dont go into my windows media player with is what i want it to do so then i went and downloaded stupied kazaa and that sucks ass i really wish winmx would work so i decided to go to the site and download it agian but i cant remember the sites name does anyone here know it ???

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