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Kazaa Settles With Music Industry, Hollywood; P2P Owner Will Pay $100-Plus Million, Go Legit

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Australia’s Sharman Networks Ltd., owner of the Kazaa file-sharing service, has reached a global settlement of all legal disputes between the company and major content providers/trade groups. Various reports peg the music industry settlement at more than $100 million with an additional payout of tens of millions to settle with Hollywood interests.
The company’s press release is close to useless when it comes to details but long on insistence that Sharman has always wanted to be legit. CEO Nikki Hemming: “It has been our long standing goal for Kazaa to play a significant role in the growing market for licensed online distribution and authorized exchange of copyrighted content using peer-to-peer technology, and this settlement ensures that we will be working together with the content providers to the benefit of consumers, businesses and artists.”
Reuters: Sharman confirmed that Kazaa founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis — who went on to create and sell Skype to eBay for $2.1 billion after they sold the P2P service to Sharman in 2001 — are parties to the settlement. The two were defendants in the various suits and resisted traveling to the U.S. to avoid being served.
AP: “Sharman Networks has boasted that its Kazaa software was downloaded more than 389 million times, and the company operated the underlying “Fast Track” file-sharing network that connected tens of millions of personal computers.”
Guardian/Organ Grinder: “It would appear that the music industry is turning the tide in its battle against illegal downloading with the news today that the notorious filesharing site Kazaa has agreed to go legal and pay