Kazaa owner has its day in court against music industry

Kazaa owner has its day in court against music industry

Sharman Networks, the owner and distributor of the Kazaa peer-to-peer (P-to-P) network, argued its case on Friday in the Federal Court of Australia against charges brought by Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), a subsidiary of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

Sharman Networks is requesting that the court set aside an order allowing the seizure of evidence due to the failure of MIPI to disclose "significant information" to the court when applying for the order.

On Feb. 6, the court granted MIPI an Anton Pillar order, which is often used in software piracy cases, against the owner of the Kazaa network, allowing for the search of Sharman Networks' offices. An Anton Pillar order gives an applicant the right to raid, without notice, the premises of the respondent and seize documentary or other evidence.

Judge Murray Rutledge Wilcox, who is presiding over the case in Sydney's Federal Court of Australia, was quoted by Sharman Networks in a statement Friday as saying that he suspected he was not told the full story by MIPI and their representatives when the application for the Anton Pillar order was originally made.

Representatives from Sharman Networks, the MIPI, the ARIA and the Federal Court of Australia could not immediately be reached for comment.

The application by Sharman Networks to have the order set aside has kept the recording industry from accessing any of documents it seized in the Feb. 6 raid until Judge Wilcox has considered the case. Lawyers representing Sharman Networks in the U.S. have said the information seized concerned the design and operation of the Kazaa Media Desktop, which is the software client distributed by Sharman, allowing users to share files on the FastTrack P-to-P network.

MIPI and the ARIA have said that the raid against Sharman Networks is simply part of efforts to stop the illegal activity of file sharing networks.

Judge Wilcox adjourned Friday's hearing for further submissions next week with a decision expected the following week, Sharman Networks said.

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