Kazaa file-sharing app can be legally distributed, court decides
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: MusicDish- March 28, 2002
The distributors of Kazaa and FastTrack - the network architecture for
file-sharing services Kazaa and Grokster which let users DL text, music,
movies and other copyrighted material - aren't liable for copyright
infringement, the Court of Appeals in Amsterdam has ruled.
This reverses last November's verdict from the District Court of Amsterdam
in favour of the Dutch performing rights organization Buma/Stemra, which had
sued Kazaa. Moreover, the higher court decided, Kazaa can distribute its
"This is not only an important victory for KaZaA, but for the entire
Internet," said KaZaA BV CEO Niklas Zennstrom.
But the victory may be somewhat pyrrhic.
Founded in 2000, KaZaA BV launched the KaZaA Media Desktop and operated the
web site http://www.kazaa.com, both sold to Sharman Networks Ltd in January
2002. KaZaA BV licenses its products, of which more than 110 million copies
have been downloaded, to Sharman Networks Ltd and
Grokster Ltd (http://www.grokster.com), which together make up the world's
largest peer-to-peer (p2p) platform.
"I have received this verdict with mixed feelings," said Zennstrom. "Surely,
it comes too late for KaZaA BV. Hopefully, organizations such as Buma/Stemra
will come to their senses and stop these legal battles against peer-to-peer
file sharing technologies."
Kazaa says the Court of Appeals decided: "KaZaA rightfully appeals the
ruling of the District Court, where it stated that as a preliminary issue
KaZaA acts contrary to copyright law. In so far as any infringing use is
being made by the means of KaZaA, these acts are committed by its users, not
"We are stunned by the verdict," a Reuters story has a Buma/Stemra spokesman
as saying. Reuters said the group plans to appeal.
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