SYDNEY, Australia – The owners of file-sharing network Kazaa were working Monday to install filters aimed at preventing users of the software from swapping copyrighted material.
Federal Court judge Murray Wilcox ordered Kazaa's owners to install the new filters last week as part of landmark music piracy litigation between Kazaa's owners, Sharman Networks, and the Australian record industry.
"Sharman Networks is working towards compliance of the court," Sharman Networks spokeswoman Julie Fenwick said in a statement.
Wilcox gave Sharman until next week to develop a new version of its Kazaa Media Desktop software with a new filtering system built in which will include 3,000 so-called keywords, most likely the names of popular recording artists.
Any searches containing those keywords will be blocked by the filter, in a move aimed at stopping their copyrighted material being swapped by Kazaa users.
Wilcox also told Sharman to use dialogue boxes to urge Kazaa users to download the new software.
"There will have to be filters in place by Dec. 5 or Kazaa will be shut down," Stephen Peach, chief executive of the Australian Record Industry Association, said Monday in a statement to The Associated Press.
However, it is unlikely Kazaa could be shut down as any order would only cover Australian users and the software is used by millions of people around the world to exchange files containing music, movies and other material. Also, users of older versions of the Kazaa software would likely be unaffected by the new version.
In September, a federal court found Kazaa's owners and distributors, led by Sydney-based Sharman, guilty of copyright infringement for failing to rein in illegal file sharing on their popular peer-to-peer network.
Wilcox said in his September ruling it had been in the financial interest of Sharman and its partners "to maximize, not minimize, music file-sharing."
A hearing to set damages is expected sometime next year. Sharman is appealing the verdict.