by CIO Staff

Kazaa Makers Settle Global Piracy Suits With $115M

Jul 27, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

Sharman Networks, producer of the popular file-sharing software Kazaa—which enabled millions of Web surfers to simply download copyrighted music and movie files—has settled a handful of global lawsuits filed against it by entertainment industry entities, and it has already paid out the bulk of the $115 million settlement to those industry parties, the Associated Press reports via Yahoo News.

The news comes from industry sources who spoke with the AP anonymously because some of the settlement terms were kept secret and not included in public court documents.

In addition to the $115 million paid to the music industry, Sharman Networks will pay out a smaller, undisclosed amount to the film industry, according to the AP.

As part of the settlement, Sharman Networks said it will “use all reasonable means” to curb Web piracy and that it will even build functionality into its software to make it difficult for users who attempt to locate and obtain pirated content, the AP reports.

The settlement puts an end to various suits filed against Sharman Networks across the globe, according to the AP.

Mitch Bainwol, leader of the Recording Industry Association of America, said, “Services based on theft are going legit or going under, and a legal marketplace is showing real promise,” according to the AP.

Sharman Networks hinted that it will attempt to obtain licenses from entertainment firms to provide legal downloads of music and film content, the AP reports.

Nikki Hemming, Sharman Networks’ chief executive, said the settlement represents “the dawn of a new age of cooperation” between entertainment industry entities and the makers of file-sharing software, according to the AP.

Last year, the Supreme Court decided that entertainment industry firms have the right to file lawsuits against companies that help or encourage their customers to obtain pirated content, the AP reports.

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