An Australian Federal Court has ordered Sharman Networks CEO Nikki Hemming to supply an affidavit disclosing the company’s assets by 4pm local time on Friday (Dec. 9).
Justice Richard Conti today (Dec. 7) agreed with Sharman’s request that the affidavit remain in a sealed envelope pending a decision on an application for leave to appeal by Hemming.
Hemming plans to contest a court order handed down last month that she face cross examination about her personal and company assets. She has not yet testified in the record companies’ case over the Kazaa software.
A decision on the leave of appeal is expected before Christmas. If unsuccessful, Hemming would have to testify either Jan. 31 or Feb. 3.
Today’s order came after record companies emphasized the urgency of knowing the Kazaa parent’s assets. The labels’ lawyer Tony Bannon SC, told the court of a press report in which a Sharman spokesperson was quoted as saying, “Effectively, Sharman is closed down in Australia.”
Bannon told the Sydney court: “They have announced they have effectively shutdown their operations in Australia and that makes it all the more important that those orders are implemented – so we know whether or not something untoward is happening.”
Sharman’s lawyer John Ireland, SC, argued the spokesperson was misquoted. “Sharman has (merely) ceased to make available the Kazaa system in Australia,” he told the court.
Yesterday, Sharman cut off access by new Australian consumers to its Kazaa software, and warned earlier customers who have the software not to use it. The Australian Recording Industry Assn. threatened to have Kazaa closed down, insisting that Sharman defied a court order to implement a keyword music filter on the system.