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

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

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

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?