Supreme Court of the Netherlands rules it is not illegal to make KaZaA publicly available, confirming Amsterdam court ruling in 2002

December 19, 2003

1 Min Read

THE HAGUE -- The Supreme Court of the Netherlands today reaffirmed that it is lawful to make the filesharing software KaZaA publicly available. This court is the first Supreme Court or other national high court ruling on the legality of peer-to-peer technologies such as KaZaA. The outcome of the case, brought in a counter-suit by music rights society Buma/Stemra, has been closely watched by the entertainment industry, technology businesses and consumer advocates. This victory sets the precedent about the legality of peer-to-peer technology across the European Union, and around the world.

The decision of the Supreme Court confirms a March 2002 ruling of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal determined that the offering of KaZaA does not result in direct copyright infringement nor is otherwise unlawful towards the plaintiff Buma/Stemra.

The KaZaA program enables Internet users to share multiple types of files. Once the program is downloaded from the Internet and installed on a PC, users can share files and download files from other users. This is done without any intervention of KaZaA or others. Among the files that the KaZaA users may exchange are copyrighted music files. Buma/Stemra objected to the KaZaA software because of the copyrighted music files offered by users. The Supreme Court has ruled that Buma/Stemra had no right to object to the software providers.

Niklas Zennstrvm and Janus Friis, the founders of KaZaA, call the ruling a "historic victory for the evolution of the Internet and for consumers."

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like