The Federal Court in Sydney turned down record companies' request for seeking the immediate and permanent closure of the peer-to-peer file-sharing system Kazaa.

SYDNEY -- The Federal Court in Sydney turned down record companies' request for seeking the immediate and permanent closure of the peer-to-peer file-sharing system Kazaa.

After finding Sharman and others liable Sept. 5 for authorizing copyright infringement, the court had given them at least two months to continue operating Kazaa while attempting to come up with a filtering protocol for future versions. The labels demanded Oct. 10 that Kazaa be closed immediately after Sharman Networks claimed it could not filter out copyright-infringing material from the system's software.

Justice Murray Wilcox turned down the labels' request to close down Kazaa immediately by explaining that, "To do that two months short of hearing an appeal...would be a very unusual step for any judge to take."

The judge had asked technical advisers of the labels and Sharman to jointly find ways to filter material as quickly as possible and appointed a registrar to ensure a timetable was adhered to. If the registrar appointed by the court then agreed "a genuine attempt was being made," Wilcox said he would extend the deadline to Dec. 5.

After that, however, the judge warned there was a possibility of the Kazaa system being closed down.

Sharman will return to court Nov. 24.