Record industry closes in on Kazaa evidence

The record industry's bid for material seized in raids on Sharman Networks received the green light on Friday after a Federal Court judge ordered requests for the documents be met within 14 days.

Justice Murray Wilcox said parties could request the (electronic) documents from the independent solicitor, who currently holds the seized material, until June 25. Access to that material, part of the 'discovery' process, is to be granted within 14 days of the request, according to court orders.

The seized material will allow the record industry to understand the workings of the Kazaa file-sharing system and develop its legal challenge.

Neither party has been allowed access to the material since it was seized in raids on Sharman Networks and its partners under an Anton Piller court order in February. The Anton Piller order allows potential evidence to be seized immediately to prevent possible alterations.

The record industry's access to the material had been further delayed following Sharman's claim that material irrelevant to the court case was also seized. Access to all this material would then have breached privacy regulations, according to Sharman.

As part of the court orders issued on Friday, Justice Wilcox allowed Sharman access to the seized material so that it could copy material for discovery purposes.

A safety copy of all the material seized in the raids will also be made and be held by the independent solicitor, Blake Dawson Waldron.

Justice Wilcox said by the time of the next hearing on July 1, he'd like to hear that the discovery process has been completed.

He said he'd like the trial to begin this year.

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