Copyright Industries: Don't Squeeze the Sharman!

by Gordon Mohr

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The Kazaa/FastTrack crew has sold the Kazaa web site, software, and other assets to a private Australian company, Sharman Networks []. What will this mean for the future of the Kazaa Service and the legal actions proceeding against it?

Some thoughts:

  • Downloads of the Kazaa software, halted a few days ago pending legal action, have been resumed. Is Sharman more confident of their legal defense than the previous owners of Kazaa?

  • The Kazaa website front page asks people to review "new" terms of use, but beside the insertion of "Sharman Networks Limited", it's not clear that these are substantially different from the old terms, still available under an unlinked old URL.

  • FastTrack apparently continues as an independent technology house -- as the sale is reported to include a license to use the FastTrack core, rather than the core intellectual property itself. However, the FastTrack site has less info than ever before, and even background-info pages at old URLs have been removed.

  • Could perhaps the corporate ownership of the Kazaa network be constantly rotated
    across jurisdictions, always one step ahead of the sheriff? Can we expect a future news story: "Sharman Networks Limited today said it had sold
    the KaZaA assets to privately-held Mauritius-based Cottonelle Systems.
    The move comes just weeks after copyright industries filed suit in
    Australian courts against Sharman."

Hey RIAA and MPAA, don't squeeze the Sharman!

How do you expect this latest development to affect Kazaa and the pending lawsuits of the copyright industries?