Improvement in the legal landscape for P2P networks
The legal landscape for P2P networks has experienced significant change in 2005 and early 2006. A series of court judgement across the world
established the liability of P2P operators, thus rejecting the notion that file-sharing is innocent, legal or victimless.
Some favourable decisions for the music segment were ruled in actions against infringing sites in the last two years, and are cited below in
- In June 2006 the US Supreme Court established in MGM versus Grokster that file-sharing services engaged in the distribution of programs with
the aim of promoting use of music involving copyright infringements could be made liable for the resulting offences.
- In August 2005 the Seoul District Tribunal ordered Soribada, a P2P Korean service to prevent users from sharing copyrighted material. Users are
then ordered to stop file-sharing immediately.
- In September 2005 the Australian Federal Court ruled that Kazaa was liable for massive infringement against copyright and ordered them to
introduce filtering technologies.
- Also in September 2005 a Taiwan Court ruled against the director of the Kuro P2P services for infringing intellectual property provisions.
- In November 2005 the Grokster P2P network agreed to cease activities as a result of a decision ruled by the US Supreme Court.
- In May 2006 BearShare agreed to quit operating services used for downloading music or films. Their assets were purchased by the legal
file-sharing service iMesh.
- In June 2006 a Netherlands Appeal Court condemned the site zoekmp3.com, ruling that their links for the illicit mp3 files are illegal in
- In July 2006 Kazaa signed an agreement and was forced to pay a fine of over USD 100 million. In addition, they switched from illegal to legal
activities by means of a filter installed to prevent users from sharing copyright infringing files.
- In September 2005 more settlement agreements favorable to the music industry were announced. The EDONKEY and KURO peer to peer services were
disabled, the latter being the largest illicit site involved file-sharing in Taiwan.
These court decisions and the payment of settlement fees are still under way and constitute important signs for other unauthorized file-sharing
networks to switch their system to legitimate activities shortly, or otherwise having to endure strict legal penalties.