Taiwan's Kuro in substantial settlement with recording industry
The latest unauthorised p2p file-sharing service shuts down and converts to a legal model
London, 14th September 2006
Kuro, Taiwan's best-known unauthorised file-sharing service, has today paid a substantial sum in damages to the recording industry and agreed to shut down its copyright-infringing p2p operation.
Under the settlement with record companies represented by IFPI Taiwan, Kuro's operator, Taipei-based Fashion Now Co Ltd, will stop distributing its p2p software programme immediately and will ensure closure of the copyright-infringing service by 15th October.
Kuro, its directors and president all received a criminal conviction for copyright infringement in September 2005. The service was run as a commercial subscription business, with an estimated 500,000 registered users in Taiwan and mainland China. The operator says it will launch a new legitimate music downloads website but will sever all links with the old infringing service.
Kuro is the latest among a growing number of unauthorised p2p services to settle with the recording industry around the world. It follows major settlements with the recording industry by Korea's Soribada and Taiwan's Ezpeer.
In July the operators of Kazaa, which had been ruled illegal in Australia, paid a record US$115 million in damages to the record companies. On September 12th, the unauthorised p2p service EDonkey.com reached a settlement in the US.
IFPI General Counsel & Executive Vice-President Geoff Taylor said: "Unauthorised file-sharing services like Kuro profit from large-scale copyright infringement and undermine those legitimate online music services who pay artists and respect copyright. This settlement confirms that there is a bright future for legal online music services, while services that try to build a business on copyright theft pay a heavy price."