Sharman Networks mastermind revealed

Record company lawyers have learned the identity of the man behind the complex web of Kazaa business partners whose name had been protected under Vanuatu law.

The federal court heard on Tuesday that lawyers for Sharman had named Worldwide Nominees Limited as the parent company of Sharman Networks.

The director of the company is Geoffrey R. Gee.

The identity of the owner had been protected as Sharman Networks is registered in Vanuatu, which precludes public information on such companies.

However, record company lawyers requested the name of the owning company as they try to establish how Sharman's business partners work in relation to Kazaa.

The request was granted by Justice Wilcox, despite protests from Sharman's lawyers.

Sharman's finances and investors have been the subject of off-the-cuff remarks by record label lawyers during proceedings, as well as media speculation.

Despite having the entrepreneurial Kevin Bermeister and his Altnet company as business partners, Sharman's willingness to take on the combined might of the major labels in court has led media commentators to speculate about the existence of a hidden business partner/investor.

Sharman offered no further information on its parent company. However, an Internet search shows a Web page claiming a Geoffrey Robert Gee operates a Vanuatu-registered law firm, Geoffrey Gee and Partners, which specialises in investment advice and international law.

A spokesperson for Sharman Networks would not confirm whether the director of Worldwide Nominees also ran this law firm.

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Steven Deare

PC World
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