Kazaa Settles Last Major Lawsuit For $10 Million
Kazaa, the file-sharing network that record companies have been battling for years, has tentatively resolved the last of the major lawsuits that were hanging over its head. Under the settlement with the National Music Publishers’ Association, Kazaa agreed to pay music publishers and songwriters a “substantial sum,” the association said. Though the exact terms of the deal remain confidential, a person with knowledge of the agreement said the amount was about $10 million.
Kazaa also made a commitment to continue using filtering software that prevents unauthorized exchange of copyrighted songs over its network. The agreement does not alter the way users get access to files on Kazaa’s network.
The music and motion picture industries sued Kazaa, along with Grokster and Morpheus, in 2001, contending that they assisted in illegally distributing copyrighted material. Kazaa, which is run by Sharman Networks in Australia, settled the lawsuits by the recording artists and the movie studios in July, agreeing to pay at least $115 million.
The only unresolved case among the 2001 lawsuits was the one with the music publishers’ association, which represents songwriters. On Monday, the association notified the United States District Court in Los Angeles that the two sides had reached an agreement in principle. The terms of that agreement are subject to final court approval and the approval of the board of the publishers’ association and the individual plaintiffs. A spokeswoman for Kazaa in the United States said the company had no comment on the settlement or its terms.