Sharman Networks, the company that distributed the file-sharing software, Kazaa, has finally come to an agreement with the media companies that have been chasing them for years throughout courts around the globe.
The details of the settlement was covered by secrecy clauses, but the Associated Press is reporting the settlement figure as $115m, which they say has mostly been paid by Sharman already. The media companies will drop all of their law suits.
As part of the settlement, Sharman has agreed to discourage online privacy using ”all reasonable means.’ How this is be achieved is unclear. Kazaa was specificaly designed to be distributed, making it’s very hard to have any control over the network. It’s design would make the use of filtering software, which would remove or block copyright material, difficult.
Being upbeat Nikki Hemming, CEO of Sharman Networks, enthused, “This settlement marks the dawn of a new age of cooperation between P2P technology and content industries which will promise an exciting future for online distribution in general and Kazaa users in particular.”
It’s understood that the settlement doesn’t require the media companies to provide their content to Kazaa, but equally it doesn’t forbid Kazza carrying copyrighted material, if done ‘legitimately.’
Given the software has been downloaded over 398 million times to date, the media companies could well see the benefit utilising the P2P network.
There was some shock in November last year when Grokster, who like Sharman made software for distributed file-sharing networks, changed their minds and closed down their service.