It’s been a bad week for music industry lawyers trying to put the thumbscrews on filesharers everywhere.
Dec 19th, the Dutch supreme court threw out an attempt by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) to limit the use of the Kazaa file-sharing network. The decision means that Kazaa can’t be held liable for how individuals use its software.
This is a major blow to the major labels’ current legal attacks. It means that it’s going to be harder than ever for them to try and shut down file-sharing networks like Kazaa. Instead, they may have to step up their unpopular tactics of targeting individuals.
The IFPI is a music industry trade group that represents BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner.
Meanwhile, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled that the RIAA could not issue subpoenas to identify and sue users of file-sharing networks. The court found that copyright law did not allow the use of subpoenas to identify file-sharers.
This puts into questions the legality of the lawsuits that have already been filed against file-sharing software users.