find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Historic Kazaa settlement

Historic Kazaa settlement

THE RECORDING industry has arrived at a historic settlement with the operators of the Kazaa file-sharing system. Gilbert & Tobin acted for the recording industry, comprising 30 clients…

THE RECORDING industry has arrived at a historic settlement with the operators of the Kazaa file-sharing system. Gilbert & Tobin acted for the recording industry, comprising 30 clients scattered across the globe.

The case was launched in 2004, with the largest set of Anton Piller orders ever made in Australia and simultaneous raids on 12 locations in three Australian states.

As a result of the agreement, Kazaa would pay US$115 million (AUD$152 million) compensation for past infringements, and convert to a legal downloading business offering licensed music.

The largest copyright case ever brought before Australian courts, and among the largest IP cases in the world, the settlement with Kazaa is expected to have far-reaching implications for the recording industry, artists and consumers, said Gilbert & Tobin.

The firm’s team — which consisted of up to 60 staff at the time of the Anton Piller orders — was led by IP partners Michael Williams and Siabon Seet.

The process was long and complex, involving 30 record company clients in different countries, said Williams. Yet the Australian decision was achieved relatively quickly, finishing ahead of the litigation in the US.

“The settlement marks the end of a period of uncertainty about peer to peer liability,” said Williams. “The question is often asked, how would we deal with other peer to peer operators. The answer is that having reached this settlement, I expect further litigation against other peer to peer operators that haven’t yet gone legal.”

In the week since the announcement of the agreement, the US recording industry has already begun legal action against the large file-sharing service, Limewire. BitTorrent, another filesharing system, is understood to be in discussions with some rights owners with a view to launching a licensed service, Williams said.

“The Australian Kazaa case was regarded as adventurous when we launched it against what was a worldwide system. Australia didn’t account for the majority of Kazaa user activity but was the country in which the operators were based. But it has now become much more orthodox that peer to peer operators like Kazaa face serious legal risks if they leave infringement unchecked on their systems,” said Williams.

Gilbert & Tobin worked in close cooperation with a team at US law firm Jenner & Block LLP, led by partner Steve Fabrizio. Mary Still at Clayton Utz led the Australian legal team representing Kazaa.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Historic Kazaa settlement
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...