Internet, music publishing
Having already finalised a $115 million settlement with record labels, the firm behind file-sharing network Kazaa has now settled a case with music publishers in the US, according to the wonderful out-law.com site. Sharman Networks, the company behind Kazaa, is the latest file-sharing software company to reach a settlement with the music industry. The NMPA said that it had pursued a class action law suit against Kazaa for infringement of the copyright of its music publisher members who own and represent the rights to songs and lyrics on behalf of songwriters and composers. The US National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) said that it had informed the US District Court that it would not be pursuing its action because Sharman Networks had
agreed to pay an undisclosed “substantial sum” to settle the dispute. The landmark case of MGM v Grokster established a liability for companies that operate peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks for users infringements in illegally downloading and swapping files. Supreme Court Justice H Soutar held that Grokster’s “unlawful objective is unmistakable” and that “We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright … is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties”. Grokster closed not long afterwards.
MGM v Grokster (2005) 04-480 Supreme Court 26th June 2006 (see Music Law Updates Archive August 2005)