December 19th, 2003, 15:21 PM
Dutch Court Throws Out Attempt to Control Kazaa
The Dutch supreme court on Friday threw out an attempt by a music copyright agency to put controls on popular Internet file-swapping software system Kazaa, a ruling the music industry attacked as flawed.
The decision is a fresh blow to the media industry, which has fought to shut down file-sharing networks they say have created a massive black-market trade in free music, films and video games on the Internet. "The victory by Kazaa creates an important precedent for the legality of peer-to-peer software, both in the European Union as elsewhere," Kazaa's lawyers Bird & Bird said in a statement.
The decision by the Dutch court, the highest European body yet to rule on file-sharing software, means that the developers of the software cannot be held liable for how individuals use it. It does not address issues over individuals' use of such networks.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the music trade group representing independent and major music labels including Warner Music, Sony Music, BMG, EMI and Universal Music, criticized the ruling as "one-sided" and vowed to continue its legal crusade elsewhere. "Today's ruling on Kazaa by the Dutch Supreme Court is a flawed judgment, but still leaves no doubt that the vast majority of people who are using file-swapping services like Kazaa are acting illegally -- whatever country they are in," the group said in a statement.
Full Story: Yahoo News
December 19th, 2003, 16:01 PM