In the end, the long time trial between Kazaa and Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony BMG and EMI has ended with the victory of the four music and movie industry companies.
According to the ruling, Kazaa will have to pay $100 million and will have to commit to going legitimate.
“There are very substantial damages being paid — in excess of $100 million — and Kazaa will go legal immediately. They’ve had time to prepare for this,” said IFPI Chairman and Chief Executive John Kennedy.
The Motion Picture Association of America said Sharman “will continue operations while employing new technologies to prevent unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works on its system.”
This trial consisted actually in two trials. One in Australia where a judge already found Kazaa guilty of breaking copyright material and one in California where the creators of the Kazaa, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, were named as co-defendants.
Zennstrom and Friis, who sold Kazaa to Sharman Networks in 2002, later went on to create the popular Internet telephony software Skype, which they sold to eBay last year for an initial $2.6 billion in cash and stock.
In a report from IFPI released on Thursday, last year there were $4.5 billion in pirated CD sales, or more than one in three CDs sold worldwide and that there were 20 billion illegal downloads — roughly three for every human being on Earth.
This comes after iTunes from Apple gave the entertainment industry a chance to make some bucks selling copyrighted content.
An analyst said that “It’s nowhere near as popular as it used to be. Very few people are thought to be using it anymore because better services came out”. “It is a big legal victory, a good symbol for them to put out, but in terms of actually reducing piracy, people migrated to other file-sharing networks a long time ago.”