Dutch music rights body takes Kazaa to Supreme Court

Dutch music rights body Buma/Stemra is taking its case against Kazaa BV to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, fighting the March 28 Amsterdam Appeals Court ruling that the software maker can't be held liable for the copyright-infringing actions of users of its file-sharing application.

Buma/Stemra, in a statement issued Tuesday, said that it feels that the Appeals Court "wrongly ruled that Kazaa is not (partially) responsible for the unauthorized downloading of music using the software it developed and brought to market."

The Supreme Court case won't directly affect the Kazaa application or its users. The Amsterdam software company sold most of its assets to Sharman Networks Ltd. in Australia to escape hefty fines it faced as a result of a November District Court ruling that basically ordered Kazaa to shut down. The March 28 Appeals Court ruling overturned that decision, but came after the hasty sale. However, if the Supreme Court sides with the Appeals Court on the ruling, The Netherlands could become a haven for companies offering file-swapping software, for example, suggested Kazaa lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm.

"If the Supreme Court says there is nothing legally wrong with the Appeals Court ruling, then they (Buma/Stemra) are in real trouble," said Alberdingk Thijm. "They probably decided to pursue this case under pressure from the U.S. record industry, as the Appeals Court ruling got worldwide attention."

Kazaa is peer-to-peer software that allows users to search the hard drives of other users for files they want, and to download them. In the U.S., the Recording Industry Association of America Inc. (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have filed suit against various file-sharing Web sites, including Kazaa.

The RIAA was not available for immediate comment.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands does not revise findings of fact from lower courts, but looks at whether the law has been properly applied by other courts. Alberdingk Thijm expects it to be at least six months before the court can hear the case.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

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?