International recording industry welcomes the final warning to Kazaa
Judge tells Kazaa to respect timetable for filtering its network or shut down
November 24, 2005
IFPI today welcomed a court order forcing Kazaa, the biggest name in internet music piracy, 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 piracy operation, was ruled in breach of copyright by the Federal Court of Australia.
Kazaa's operators, Sharman Networks, had previously appealed the September judgment. But today 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.
Today's court order comes within weeks of judgments against unauthorised peer-to-peer services in the US, Australia, Korea and Taiwan.
IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy said: "Kazaa has received its final warning. It is time for services like Kazaa to move on - to filter, go legal or make way for others who are trying to build a digital music business the correct and legal way.
"Around the world, the courts are closing the door on peer-to-peer operators that promote copyright theft on their networks. This is good news for millions of consumers who are now turning to the hundreds of sites where they can get music online in a way that respects the copyrights of artists, musicians and producers."
When implemented, the filtering order will go a long way to putting an end to Kazaa's pirating of music recordings. 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 orders, 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."
The Australian record companies' body ARIA has also welcomed the order. ARIA Chief Executive Stephen Peach said: "Today's decision is excellent news for all artists going into the Christmas period. The court has put an end to Kazaa's delay tactics on filtering and ordered them to get on with it if they wish to continue operating."
Background for journalists
1. The Federal Court of Australia in Sydney ruled on September 5 that companies and individuals associated with Kazaa knowingly facilitated and profited from massive copyright infringement, failed to take any measure to stop it and should filter infringing recordings within two months.
2. Between July and September 2005, there were court rulings in the US against other unauthorised peer-to-peer operators - Grokster, in Korea against Soribada and in Taiwan against Kuro.
IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises over 1400 major and independent companies in more than 75 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 48 countries. IFPI's mission is to fight music piracy; promote fair market access and good copyright laws; help develop the legal conditions and the technologies for the recording industry to prosper in the digital era; and to promote the value of music.