MusicDish e-Journal - October 19, 2018
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Kazaa Can Be Sued in the US, Rules Federal Judge
By Jon Newton,
(more articles from this author)
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On November 6 last year, US District Judge Stephen Wilson indicated he'd probably back record label and movie studio efforts to sue Sharman Networks, the parent company of Kazaa, although Sharman was desperately praying he'd say the Hollywood bid wasn't on.

But in a January 10 ruling, Wilson decided Hollywood can indeed proceed against Sharman in the US because Kazaa software has been downloaded and used by millions of Californians.

"Given that Sharman's (Kazaa) software has been downloaded more than 143 million times, it would be mere cavil to deny that Sharman engages in a significant amount of contact with California residents," Declan McCullagh quoted Wilson as saying in a January 10 C|NET news story.

Based in Australia and incorporated in Vanuatu in the Pacific, Sharman Networks asked to have the suit brought against it by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) dismissed on the grounds that Sharman isn't bound by US laws.

Nor has the Fat Lady stopped singing.

The Kazaa case could yet be included a larger one involving companies which use the same underlying technology as Sharman. As Slyck's Tom Mennecke says here, the key decision of a possible summary judgement has yet to be reached and could rest on FastTrack's 'controllability'.

Tom adds the new list of defendants in the FastTrack case includes:

  • Consumer Empowerment BV (previous owners of KaZaA and FastTrack)
  • StreamCast Networks (previous owners of a FastTrack license and operators of Morpheus)
  • Sharman Networks (owners of a FastTrack license operated through KaZaA)
  • Grokster Ltd (owners of a FastTrack licence operated through Grokster)
  • La Galiote BV (A European software company who helped create the FastTrack code)
  • Indigo Investment BV (Linked to a European software company who helped create the FastTrack code)
  • LEF Interactive (An Australian company that have done some work for Sharman Networks)
  • Niklas Zennstrom (co- creator of KaZaA and owner of the FastTrack protocol)
  • Janus Friis Degnbol (co-creator of KaZaA and owner of the FastTrack protocol)


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