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Dutch court rules KaZaA legal

By sangdrax in News
Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 11:25:57 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

The dutch newssite Webwereld has this article (dutch) in which the Dutch Court ruled the music-exchange service KaZaA legal.
(A translation of the article is in the extended description)

A translation of the article:

Dutch Court: "Exchange-service KaZaA is legal"

Thursday March 28th, 2002 - The music-exchange-service of KaZaA is not responsible for the infringements in copyright performed by it's users.

That is what the Court in Amsterdam decided today. The Court destroyed the verdict of judge R. Oribio de Castro in the case of the Buma Stemra [dutch version of RIAA] versus KaZaA.

According to Buma Stemra, KaZaA helps copyright infringements. Its software is mainly used to exchange music, without paying fees for copyright. That is why R. Oribio de Castro ordered KaZaA to take measures to stop this behaviour. If KaZaA would refuse, it would have to pay for more damages. Therefore, the owners of KaZaA decided to sell their company to an Australian software-company called Sherman.

A bit sad for KaZaA
That ruling was unnecessary, so it seems. The Amsterdam Court ruled, in an appeal that KaZaA called for, that KaZaA cannot be held responsible for the copyright infringements performed by its users. The Court: "If there is any illegal copying of music being done, it is done by the users of the computer program and not by KaZaA itself".

[...] CEO Niklas Zennström says he has mixed feelings about the ruling: "For KaZaA, this is too late. I hope music organisations like Buma/Stemra are from now on willing to make agreements instead of taking things to court immediately."

The Court acknowledged the difference between KaZaA and Napster. Napster uses a central server, which is not the case with KaZaA. Also, users of KaZaA can share all kinds of files, not only music.

Practical implications
"What the implications for KaZaA exactly are, remains to be seen.", KaZaA says in their press statement. De exchange service says they were forced to cease their activity worldwide because of the previous ruling, after which it sold the important parts of the company.

This is also recognized by the Court: "It can be assumed KaZaA wouldn't have done that if she was in her power to respond to the previous verdict in any other way."

This means the Buma/Stemra executed a verdict which wasn't valid. In theory, Buma is now responsible for the sale [of KaZaA] against a lower price than it would otherwise be the case." It isn't clear if KaZaA will sue Buma for this.

Buma/Stemra is unavailable for comment.


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Related Links
o Webwereld
o this article (dutch)
o Also by sangdrax

Display: Sort:
Dutch court rules KaZaA legal | 22 comments (15 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Dutch Court Clears Web Music Swapping (4.25 / 4) (#6)
by paf0 on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 10:32:53 AM EST

Yahoo has one that doesnt have to be translated.

Thanks for the translation, I'm sure it took some effort.
The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. --B. F. Skinner
icq 3505006
Now we know where the future of Digital music is (4.40 / 5) (#9)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 11:10:47 AM EST

Napster people: for goodness sake, relocate! Now.
"At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look;
at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Yes it's blubster (none / 0) (#17)
by eviltwin on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 08:08:15 PM EST

Sorry but Kazza/Morpheus is slow, downloads rarely complete, selection is crap etc.

I use blubster and it works like a charm, fast, truly peer to peer (no servers) and no installation, just a single executable, accepts anonymous logins etc.

All generalisations are false, including this one.
[ Parent ]
Wow... (4.50 / 4) (#10)
by Bad Mojo on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 11:34:39 AM EST

A ruling that actually makes some sense. Sure, this might mean that companies will persue individuals, but is that so wrong? Aren't the people sharing material illegaly the ones who deserve to be punished?

I don't have any problem with this and I would hope that in the US, similar insight would make some headway in our legal system.

-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

You know what this means (4.00 / 3) (#11)
by Hopfrog on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 12:02:35 PM EST

The European political elite don't really understand all this file sharing tech stuff. So they like to do what others do, in most cases the U.S.

I believe because of this ruling, file sharing will become legal in all of the EU.


Apart from the UK (none / 0) (#13)
by synaesthesia on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:44:15 PM EST

Our government seems to consider Britain the 51st United State of America.

Although things are looking up recently with respect to the decriminalisation of marijuana.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Canadia is the 51st United State (none / 0) (#14)
by kuran42 on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 05:34:01 PM EST

If anything, Britain is the 52nd, though Peurto Rico may have that dubious honor (Not that they want it - why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?), making Britain 53rd. Hmm, anyone else out there we can annex?

kuran42? genius? Nary a difference betwixt the two. -- Defect
[ Parent ]
Canada would be more than one state (none / 0) (#16)
by ghjm on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 07:28:28 PM EST

Canada would be the 51st through 60th state; the U.K. would be the 61st through 64th. And Peurto Rico would be 65th. What would the flag look like then?

[ Parent ]
Probably like this... (none / 0) (#22)
by cdyer on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 02:25:45 AM EST

This is what it currently looks like, at least the stars:

* * * * * *
 * * * * *
* * * * * *
 * * * * *
* * * * * *
 * * * * *
* * * * * *
 * * * * *
* * * * * *

That's 5 rows X 6 stars and 4 rows X 5 stars.

Sixty five would probably be have the following stars, or something similar:

* * * * * * *
 * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
 * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
 * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
 * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
 * * * * * *

5 rows X 7 stars and 5 rows X 6 stars. Unless of course someone got all uppity about the smaller set on bottom, in which case you could move it to the inside so that there were two adjacent rows of 6.

I'm guessing the stripes would probably stay the same. :)

[ Parent ]
I really hope that this sticks. (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by Zara2 on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 01:03:52 PM EST

i really hope that this verdict sticks. If it holds it will either free up the IP market and let it get back to being free (as in speech and market). Alternately I can see the Dutch having a similar situation as they do with drug tourism. Make a decent dollar off of it and supply a little bit of relief for those of us in countries with less sane policies.

On a side note; Is there anyone here who is familiar with the Dutch legal process. Could this be like the one Pro-Napster decision that got overturned after a month or so here in the US? I really hope not. ;)

dutch legal system (none / 0) (#18)
by sangdrax on Fri Mar 29, 2002 at 09:14:40 AM EST

Well for one thing, the Netherlands has this system called `trias politicas', which means that the legislative, executive and judicial powers of government are split up.

I don't know the details of all the Napster rulings that happened, but out here in Holland:

- parlement and senate make the laws. Besides that, they cannot influence judge decisions.

- judges apply the law. They cannot change or judge the laws themselves.

- police enforces the law. Their job is to make sure citizens obey the law.

The judge ruling was pretty simple: Users themselves offer the copyright infringing content. So they are to blame. It is up to the police to make sure they won't. Given the current status of cyberpolice in Holland, KaZaA users don't have much to fear :)

I think to change this, we need laws against it specifically and given Dutch culture I don't see that happen easily. Politicians as well as judges out here realize that the problem lies with the users' morale and ethics, not with KaZaA.

[ Parent ]
Dutch Laws (none / 0) (#19)
by Zara2 on Fri Mar 29, 2002 at 06:27:18 PM EST

I was more interested in if this verdict might/will be overturned.

In the states during the Napster case there was 1 decent ruling for napsters favor. Within a month the record companies had it overturned. I was just wondering if a similar thing would happen with the dutch legal system.

[ Parent ]

Acually... (none / 0) (#20)
by Wouter Coene on Sat Mar 30, 2002 at 06:12:00 AM EST

... this was the overturning :)

The only option the record industry has left is to apply for "cassatie", which is basically complaining the judge(s) didn't apply the law correctly and asking the Hoge Raad (I believe an appropriate translation would be "supreme council") to take a look at it.

However, such cases tend to take something like a decade.


[ Parent ]
WOOOOO HOOO (none / 0) (#21)
by Zara2 on Sat Mar 30, 2002 at 01:44:46 PM EST

Great. That means that this will prolly stick. I tell you that i am only using dutch file sharing from now on.

[ Parent ]
"Go fish"... "Got what I wanted&quo (none / 0) (#15)
by pla on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 05:57:54 PM EST

CEO Niklas Zennström says he has mixed feelings about the ruling: "For KaZaA, this is too late. I hope music organisations like Buma/Stemra are from now on willing to make agreements instead of taking things to court immediately."

Does anyone else see Buma/Stemra as likely to learn *anything* from this other than "we all-but-destroyed KaZaA with legal wranglings, let's use this strategy again in the future"?

Dutch court rules KaZaA legal | 22 comments (15 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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