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September 5, 2005

Oz Court rules against Kazaa [12:24 pm]

Court rules against Kazaa [pdf]

An Australian court ruled on Monday that users of the popular Internet file-sharing network Kazaa were breaching copyright, and ordered its owners to modify the software to prevent online music piracy.

Slashdot: Australian Court says Kazaa Users Breach Copyright; CNet: Australian court rules against Kazaa; NYTimes: Australian Court Finds File-Sharing Violates Copyrights; WashPost: Court Orders Kazaa to Stop Pirates [pdf]

Resources here: Kazaagate, including the current decision (also here)

From the judgement:

A question arose as to the form of relief that might be made against the six respondents that I hold to have authorised infringement of the applicants’ copyright. The applicants are entitled to declarations as to past violations of their rights and the threat of future violations. They are also entitled to an order restraining future violations. However, I have had to bear in mind the possibility that, even with the best will in the world, the respondents probably cannot totally prevent copyright infringement by users. I am anxious not to make an order which the respondents are not able to obey, except at the unacceptable cost of preventing the sharing even of files which do not infringe the applicants’ copyright. There needs to be an opportunity for the relevant respondents to modify the Kazaa system in a targeted way, so as to protect the applicants’ copyright interests (as far as possible) but without unnecessarily intruding on others’ freedom of speech and communication. The evidence about keyword filtering and gold file flood filtering, indicates how this might be done. It should be provided that the injunctive order will be satisfied if the respondents take either of these steps. The steps, in my judgment, are available to the respondents and likely significantly, though perhaps not totally, to protect the applicants’ copyrights.

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