Just recently, we reported that Sharman Networks, the operator of the Kazaa P2P network, had been ordered by the Australian Federal Court to alter its software. The Federal Court found that the Kazaa software had violated Australian copyright law, and ordered that the software be restrained from continuing to operate in Australia, unless changes were made to prevent it from being used illegally. Now, Kazaa has vowed to fight; Sharman Networks will appeal the ruling that Kazaa violates the country's copyright laws.
"While the judgment has yet to be studied in detail, Sharman Networks is obviously disappointed with the decision," the company said in a statement. "We will appeal this decision vigorously and are confident that we will win on appeal.''
The impact on P2P of all of this is not as great as it once could have been; Kazaa is not as popular as it once was, with a great many users having moved off of the software, and on to alternatives such as BitTorrent and e-Donkey. Nevertheless, it does remain a blow to P2P file sharing, as it illustrates the increasing amount of general legal pressure being thrown on companies who write P2P file sharing tools.
"Despite the fact that the Kazaa website contains warnings against the sharing of copyright files, and an end-user licence agreement under which users are made to agree not to infringe copyright, it has long been obvious that these measures are ineffective to prevent, or even substantially to curtail, copyright infringements by users," the judge said in a summary of the decision.