Feeds

Dutch Supreme Court rules Kazaa legal

But using it might not be

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A Dutch supreme court today reaffirmed that it is lawful to make the file sharing software Kazaa openly available. It is the first time that a Supreme Court or other national high court is ruling on the legitimacy of P2P technologies such as Kazaa.

The outcome of the case, brought in a counter-suit by Dutch music rights society Buma/Stemra, has been closely watched by the entertainment industry, technology businesses and consumer advocates.

"This victory sets the precedent about the legality of peer-to-peer technology across the European Union, and around the world," Kazaa attorney Christiaan Alberdinck Thijm said in a statement. Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the founders of Kazaa, call the ruling a "remarkable victory for the Internet and consumers".

Buma Stemra is going to issue a statement later today.

The decision of the Supreme Court confirms a March 2002 ruling of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. In 2002 a Dutch district court ordered Kazaa to prevent people using its product from engaging in copyright infringement or face thousands of dollars in damages. That suit was brought by Dutch Buma/Stemra, which interestingly enough had just started licensing negotiations with the peer to peer service.

The Amsterdam Appeals Court then overturned that decision, and agued that Kazaa couldn't be held liable for the copyright-infringing actions of its users, a ruling that sent shockwaves through the music industry. However, for Kazaa the verdict came a little too late, as the company had sold most of its assets to Australian firm Sharman Networks.

The Dutch Supreme Court today did not rule on the issue of whether individual file-sharers violate the copyrights of the music industry. In the US, the music industry has filed suit against hundreds of individuals. The Dutch Association of Phonogram and Videogram Producers (NVPI) says that the verdict is by no means a victory for Kazaa users, who can still be procecuted. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.