The Australian record industry's attempts to launch a copyright infringement case against Kazaa is facing another stumbling block.

SYDNEY--The Australian record industry's attempts to launch a copyright infringement case against Kazaa is facing another stumbling block.

Lawyers for Kazaa's Sydney-based parent Sharman Networks lodged an application March 11 for leave to appeal in the Australian Federal Court against a recent ruling on evidence on the potential civil case.

Sharman is seeking to appeal a March 4 ruling by Justice Murray Wilcox dismissing its application to have evidence collected during February raids in Australia declared invalid (ELW, March 8).

According to Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming, "This appeal is about standing up for what we believe in: the right for peer-to-peer technology to exist as a legitimate model for digital distribution." At press time, the court had not set a hearing date.

Lawyers representing Sharman have been fighting the threatened lawsuit since the raids by the Music Industry Piracy Investigation (MIPI) unit took place Feb. 6. The lawyers asked the Federal Court Feb. 10 to rule that evidence collected during the raids be ruled inadmissible.

At the time, Sharman argued that MIPI had obtained the order from Justice Wilcox by portraying the company as a "fly by night" operator, and had not disclosed that it was cooperating in a relevant appeal case being heard in a California court.

On March 4, Justice Wilcox dismissed Sharman's application. He ruled that the search order was necessary for the six record labels which fund MIPI to collect evidence of possible copyright infringement.

"It is obviously an essential part of the applicants' case to put evidence before the court about the dynamic operation of the Kazaa system," he wrote.

Justice Wilcox also said the non-disclosure by MIPI of Sharman's cooperation with the United States appeal court was "not material."