Australian courts order Kazaa to filter out copyright works

December 2005

Record labels, internet

The Australian Federal Court has issued a order forcing Kazaa to filter copyrighted music from its system within ten days or cease its operation. Under the new order, Kazaa has been told to put in place filters that will stop the swapping of a large number of copyrighted songs, ranging from Madonna and the Beatles to more niche and local artists, by a deadline of 5 December.  The final warning comes two months after Kazaa, until recently the world’s biggest internet peer-2-peer file swapping sitre, was ruled in breach of copyright by the Federal Court of Australia. Kazaa’s operators, Sharman Networks, had previously appealed the September judgment. But the judge in Sydney, Justice Murray Wilcox, said that to avoid complete shutdown, Kazaa must now, as a first step, put in place the new keyword filter system by December 5th. The court order comes within weeks of judgments against unauthorised peer-to-peer services in the US, Australia, Korea and Taiwan. The new filter, involving 3000 keyword to be selected by record companies, will apply to all new versions of the Kazaa software from 5 December 2005.  The filter can be updated if necessary on a fortnightly basis to target the latest and most popular music releases nominated by record companies. Explaining his order, Justice Wilcox said the record companies are “entitled to have the benefit of a judgment in their favour. That is very important. Copyright infringement is occurring on an enormous scale at this moment.”

Source IFPI press release

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