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Kazaa trial judge delays hearing

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Kazaa owner Sharman Networks will have to wait until next week to hear if the Australian federal court will suspend legal action brought against it by the Aussie music industry.

Judge Murray Rutledge Wilcox adjourned a hearing due to take place this past Friday in order to allow the parties to make further submissions this week, the peer-to-peer software company said.

Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), an organisation sponsored by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), opened proceedings against Kazaa on 10 February. It claims the company is guilty of aiding and abetting copyright infringement.

At the earlier hearing, Kazaa's lawyers asked Judge Wilcox to suspend the case pending the outcome of a similar hearing being held in the US Court of Appeals. The latter case pitches the US movie and music industries against P2P services Grokster and Morpheus.

The content companies want the appeals tribunal to reverse an earlier judgement, that the P2P providers can't be held liable for illegal copyright violations performed by their users. The lower court's verdict was based on precedent that no longer apply, the appellants claim.

Kazaa's Australian legal team maintains that the outcome of the US case has a direct bearing on MIPI's lawsuit. They also say that MIPI did not present the all the information it should have when applying for the Anton Pillar orders that permitted a series of raids to be made against Sharman Networks and others earlier this month.

The lawyers allege that MIPI did not tell Judge Wilcox, that Sharman had already agreed to submit to depositions and co-operate fully with the US Court of Appeal proceedings.

The Anton Pillar orders have also been challenged by the three universities raided: the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales and Monash University. On 6 February, the day of the raids, MIPI agreed to keep aside information acquired during these three particular raids until a further court order has been obtained.

Sharman's Australian lawyers are being advised by David Casselman, the company's legal representative in the US Appeal Court hearing. He believes that the appeals tribunal will reaffirm the original verdict. ®

Related stories

Kazaa demands Oz trial delay
Music industry raids Kazaa's Australia HQ
Grokster, Morpheus face MPAA in appeals court

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