Judge Says Kazaa Raid 'O.K'

Gretchen Gallen
MELBOURNE, Australia – Sharman Networks, owner of peer-to-peer network Kazaa, was again shunned by the Aussie court system this week when a judge ignored a request to overlook evidence gathered from a raid of its offices.

According to reports, there were twelve consecutive raids that took place in several states throughout Australia earlier this month that included the homes of Sharman Networks' chief executive officer and its director of technology.

The raid and seizure was conducted by the Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), a collective gathering of six of the biggest recording companies in Australia that have been pursuing Kazaa over copyright infringement issues. MIPI is reportedly owned by EMI Music, Universal, Festival Mushroom Records, Sony Music, Warner Music Australia, and BMG Australia.

Representatives for Sharman claim that the information collected in the raids was already presented to the courts in the U.S., and is therefore unnecessary in court proceedings currently underway in Australia.

Sharman Networks also questioned whether the Federal Court in Sydney had the legal right to authorize the raids and whether MIPI fully disclosed their intention at the time permission was granted.

Sharman claimed that the raids were a 'breach of copyright legal action' and that court proceedings should be put to a stop until the case in the U.S. is resolved. However the judge dismissed Sharman's request.

Kazaa is currently a co-defendant along with Grokster and StreamCast in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the U.S. entertainment industry in which the plaintiffs are seeking to overturn an earlier ruling that got the three companies off the hook for copyright infringement liability.

The case in Australia will return to court on March 23.