Copyright-infringement case nears conclusion.
Australian record companies have temporarily blocked two key figures in the ongoing Kazaa legal case from selling or transferring their assets.
The Federal Court in Sydney today (March 4) agreed to freeze the assets of Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming and Altnet CEO Kevin Bermeister until the conclusion of the case. The court, however, refused to grant the industry's request to force the pair to disclose their assets.
The ownership of Kazaa has been under question; the labels claim Sharman and Altnet are the owners of the P2P service.
The labels -- who are accusing Sydney-based Sharman of widespread copyright infringement -- claim that Kazaa users download up to 3 billion unauthorized files each month.
An affidavit filed by Music Industry Piracy Investigation unit GM Michael Speck claims that Hemming on Feb. 16 sold a property to Sharman accountant John Meyers for A$2.1 million ($1.6 million). It also says Bermeister sold his half-share of a house to his wife for A$3.375 million ($2.63 million). The pair continue to live in the property, the labels' lawyer Tony Bannon claimed.
Bannon told the court that Hemming and Bermeister's assets "appear to be disappearing out of the control of the respondents."
Closing arguments in the case are set for March 22.