Wednesday, September 07, 2005Contact: Maurits Bruggink
+33.1.56 09 93 40
Important anti internet piracy ruling in Australia

On Monday, a federal Court in Australia ordered the file sharing (Peer to Peer, or P2P) website Kazaa to install software that filters out unlicensed copyright material.

This ruling is also relevant to the racing and betting industry as we are equally plagued by piracy of our data and images on the internet and find websites in soft jurisdictions that engage in illegal activities.

The ruling also highlights the technical means that exist to prevent illegal internet activities. In the P2P case, copyright protected material can be filtered out on the internet. Regarding online betting, software can prevent access to websites from defined countries (see our note on geo-location software on our home page). For example, in an earlier legal case in Holland, an online bookmaker was ordered to install such software.

Like unauthorized online betting operators, Kazaa is established in a soft jurisdiction, the South Pacific island of Vanuatu. The Kazaa software code is maintained by technical staff from European Union member state Estonia. At the end however, financial interests are mostly held by residents of countries with a proper legal system and people can therefore be held accountable.

Like in the case with unauthorised online betting, illegal file sharing will still exist after this ruling, as there are many alternative suppliers and insufficient policing of wrongdoers. However, it is an important step to push back internet piracy.

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