IFPI welcomes landmark conviction of Taiwan file-sharing service Kuro
First criminal ruling against an internet peer-to-peer service in the world
Taipei and London, September 9
IFPI, representing the international recording industry, has welcomed the conviction of Taiwan-based internet file-sharing service Kuro, in what is the first criminal conviction of a peer-to-peer (p2p) service in the world.
A Taiwan court today convicted Kuro of criminal copyright infringement, imposing a fine of NT$3 million (approx US$90,000) and sentencing the three principals of Kuro, along with a user, to jail terms of up to three years.
The judgement follows three other court rulings on file-sharing services - all within the past three months. All four - including the ruling against Kazaa in Australia, the unanimous US Supreme Court ruling against Grokster, and the injunction against Soribada in Korea - establish there is no defence for file-sharing services that build their businesses on the back of unauthorised trading of copyrighted material.
Lauri Rechardt, IFPI Director of Licensing and Litigation said: "This is good news for artists and the music industry, particularly in Taiwan which has had a history of piracy problems. Kuro has received a criminal conviction which sends a strong message that profiteering from infringement will not be tolerated.
"The case also confirms a growing international trend which will help with the development of the legitimate digital music business. These four landmark rulings in different countries in the past three months send a clear message that unauthorised p2p services are illegal."
IFPI Taiwan has called upon Kuro to stop immediately the unauthorised file-sharing, to either close or make the necessary changes to allow the technology to be used legally.
The Chen brothers, who ran the service, have been each sentenced to three years imprisonment; their father, who was president of Kuro, to two years; and the user - convicted of uploading copyrighted material onto the service - to four months.
Kuro was established as a subscription peer-to-peer service, charging users for access to music files via the service. This was predominantly local repertoire, but nothing has been paid to the artists or the record labels.
For further information please contact Adrian Strain or Fiona Harley at IFPI on tel: +44 (0)7878 7900 or +44 (0)7878 7935