Kazaa wins, RIAA loses

— 1:54 PM on December 20, 2003

In The Netherlands, Kazaa is no longer kept hanging on, thanks to the Dutch Supremes. The court rejected a Netherlands-based royalties collection society's demand that Kazaa's distribution cease and that future versions be modified to prevent the exchange of copyrighted materials, and ruled that developers are not liable for how people use their software. The decision does not legitimize sharing copyrighted works, and is likely to pave the way for individual lawsuits that directly target those sharing copyrighted material.

Coincidentally, the RIAA's strategy of targeting individual song swappers with lawsuits was dealt a blow by a US appeals court who ruled that ISPs are not required to identify users accused of illegal distribution unless a formal lawsuit has been filed. The RIAA had previously been able to subpoena the personal information of accused song swappers without filing a lawsuit. The RIAA also argued that ISPs are responsible for downloaded music because such data runs through their network, but that charge that was rejected by the court because it "borders upon the silly."

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