The operators of Taiwanese peer-peer download service Kuro today (Sept. 14) agreed to pay to the recording industry $9.1 in damages, one of the largest settlements of its kind in Asia. The rogue servi

The operators of Taiwanese peer-peer download service Kuro today (Sept. 14) agreed to pay to the recording industry $9.1 in damages, one of the largest settlements of its kind in Asia. The rogue service has also vowed to shut down its operation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kuro's Taipei-based parent company Fashion Now Co Ltd will cease distributing its file-sharing software program with immediate effect. The company says it will ensure closure of the copyright-infringing service by Oct. 15. Kuro's operators intend to launch a new legitimate music downloads Web site.

The international music industry claimed a landmark legal victory when Kuro, its directors and president all received criminal convictions for copyright infringement in September 2005. The Kuro service charged its estimated 500,000 subscribers a monthly rate of NT$99 ($3) per month for use of its P2P software and servers.

Taipei prosecutors filed the case in August 2003 on behalf of IFPI Taiwan and major record companies.

The IFPI welcomed today's settlement. "Unauthorized file-sharing services like Kuro profit from large-scale copyright infringement and undermine those legitimate online music services who pay artists and respect copyright," IFPI general counsel & executive VP Geoff Taylor said in a statement. "This settlement confirms that there is a bright future for legal online music services, while services that try to build a business on copyright theft pay a heavy price."

Kuro joins a mounting list of unauthorized international P2P services to settle with the recording industry. Korea's Soribada, Taiwan's Ezpeer, Kazaa in Australia and, most recently, EDonkey.com in the United States have agreed to pay damages.

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