Kazaa Can Be Sued in the US, Rules Federal Judge
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
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
- 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
- Niklas Zennstrom (co- creator of KaZaA and owner of the FastTrack
- Janus Friis Degnbol (co-creator of KaZaA and owner of the FastTrack