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Technical Blunder Wins the Day for Kazaa
November 25, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Just one mistake has cost the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) three months of unfettered public access to copyrighted works on the FastTrack network. Sharman Networks, in their attempt to build legitimacy, were pushing for an Audible Magic filter. The Australian recording industry was seeking a 3,000 word filter instead.

In order to settle these differences, the Australian court ordered two "conclaves." These conclaves were gatherings of technical personnel from Sharman Networks and the ARIA. No lawyers were present as Judge Wilcox wanted to avoid any kind of legalese.

The first meeting went very well, and both sides appeared close to coming to an agreement. Sharman Networks' stance on filtering copyrighted material with Audible Magic appeared to be gathering support of the ARIA's technical crew, but not with their lawyer, Mr. Michael Williams.

Distressed in the direction the meeting went and not favoring the Audible Magic solution, Mr. Williams pulled the plug on the second meeting. Quite simply, Mr. Williams ordered the music industry's technical crew to simply not show up. This meeting could have accomplished a tremendous amount, such as organizing Kazaa's filtering technology for the December 5th deadline.

However, Judge Wilcox was infuriated with the Australian music industry for violating the court's order.

"When I heard about it I was extremely angry about it, I can tell you that. I will try and not let that determine my attitude to what has to be decided today, but I have to struggle not to. If Mr Williams wanted to call off the attendance you should have done so in good time and notified everybody in good time. Not has a situation where a 9 o'clock on Monday morning everyone was looking around and saying, well what is happening. I think it also was quite inappropriate for nobody on your side to turn up."

Since the music industry did not show up to the second conclave, Judge Wilcox granted Sharman Networks a further stay until late February of 2006. Sharman will still have to work on filtering technology, as per the original ruling, but an amazing technical blunder by the Australian recording industry has prevented the immediate filtration of the FastTrack network.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
FastTrack :: Kazaa
Legal/Courtroom :: Court Rulings/Decisions

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