Judge orders Kazaa to install keyword filter

Sharman Networks has been given until Dec. 5 to install a filtering system on its Kazaa file-sharing network.

The operators of the Kazaa file-sharing service have been given until Dec. 5 to update their software with a filter to screen out copyright material or else face the prospect of being shut down.

The filter will prevent users from trading files containing 3,000 keywords selected by record companies, including the names of popular artists and songs. The filter can be updated every two weeks to include the latest and most popular releases, the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said in a statement.

The order was issued Thursday by Justice Murray Wilcox of the Federal Court of Australia, in Sydney, in the recording industry's ongoing case against Kazaa operator Sharman Networks. It follows a September ruling in favor of the recording industry that found that Kazaa has been used to infringe copyrights on a wide scale.

Wilcox has indicated a reluctance to shut the Kazaa service down unnecessarily. He initially gave Sharman Networks two months to come up with a way to prevent works from being traded illegally on its network, and later granted a one-month extension, to Dec. 5.

On Thursday, Sharman Networks won a further reprieve to comply fully with the court's injunction. It now has until late February 2006, when its appeal of the decision is expected to begin. In the meantime it must reduce the illegal activity on its networks by introducing the keyword filtering system.

"Sharman Networks is working towards compliance" with the court's latest requirement, a spokeswoman for the company said Friday.

The company has been told it must encourage users to upgrade to the new version of its software with the filtering.

The case against Kazaa was filed by the Australian subsidiaries of most of the big recording labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and EMI Group. Their catalogues include popular music from Madonna, the Beatles and thousands of other artists.

The IFPI characterized Murray's order as a "final warning" for Sharman Networks, and said the service would be shut down if it does not comply.

The 3,000-keyword system is seen as an interim measure. The judge's September ruling called for the trading of virtually all copyright files to be blocked, and the labels' catalogs include, in total, tens of thousands of titles or more.

Sharman is now considering a new technology that has emerged since the case began, from U.S. company Audible Magic Corp. Its software captures an audio "fingerprint" of a recording and stores it in a database that can then be used to block file-trading. The system appears more effective than keyword filtering, Wilcox suggested Thursday, according to a transcript of the hearing.

It was unclear whether the labels were willing to discuss that option, however. Wilcox chided the labels' attorneys on Thursday for withdrawing their technical experts at the last minute from a meeting planned for Nov. 21, where the two sides were due to discuss options for filtering copyright works.

In a statement Thursday, Sharman accused the record labels of trying to shut Kazaa down and "rid themselves improperly of a competitor" rather than working with it to agree on a new filtering system.

Attorneys acting for the record labels were not immediately available for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?