THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT AND KAZAA

Kazaa, a peer to peer music and video file sharing entity, in July 2006, settled with the music and movie industries. This ends a long running battle that had tested the limits of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). See the related article Digital Millennium Act outdated by technology. The opinion of the DC Circuit in RIAA v Verizon Internet appears to remain good law. The court judgment ordered the subpoena served on Verizon Internet as an ISP to be quashed.

In the instant settlement, Kazaa will pay in excess of $100 million and purportedly will reinvent itself into a legitimate file sharing service in the manner of Napster.

In a new settlement agreement announced November 2, 2006, Kazaa reportedly resolved the last major lawsuit. Kazaa settled with the National Music Publishers’ Association upon payment of an undisclosed sum. It is reported in the New York Times that Kazaa also agreed to continue use of filtering software that prevents unauthorized exchange of copyrighted songs over its network. More information regarding the checkered history of Kazaa is available on Wikipedia.

As a side note, Grokster is now closed for business. A visit to its website contains the chilling notice that “if you came here to down load music, this isn’t the place and your IP address has been recorded.”