Final Arguments Begin In Kazaa Trial

Lawyers for Australian record companies yesterday (March 22) began their final arguments in the landmark case against Sharman Networks' file-sharing software Kazaa.

Lawyers for Australian record companies yesterday (March 22) began their final arguments in the landmark case against Sharman Networks' file-sharing software Kazaa.

As previously reported, Justice Murray Wilcox issued orders to freeze assets of Sharman Networks and its subsidiaries, and those of Sharman CEO Nicky Hemmings. The Sharman parties have yet to reveal the full extent of their assets.

This followed revelations that proceeds of A$1.1 million ($880,000) from the sale of Hemming's Sydney house had been transferred out of Australia and into Sharman's Vanuatu-based trust.

The record labels' barrister, Tony Bannon, SC, told the Federal Court in Sydney that the transfer of funds was organized by Ronnie Dyne, a business associate of Kevin Bermeister, managing director of Altnet, which is also named in the case.

Bannon argued that Sharman's assets were being dispersed "before a judgment and possible damages order in the copyright case."

Sharman executives' assets are to remain frozen until after a week after judgment, which is expected in four to six weeks.

Bannon summed up that Kazaa had inflicted "enormous damage" on his clients' businesses. Sharman had done nothing to stop users from committing alleged copyright infringement, he claimed.

"On the contrary, they continue to promote the system, reward their license-breaching users with innovations by updates, suggest in publicity that the [record companies] are at fault, not the users, and provide features in the system which aid infringement and render more difficult monitoring and enforcement," Bannon said.

The trial concludes today with final submissions from Sharman.
THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.