Executives of Sharman Networks, operator of the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing system, could face jail time if an Australian judge finds them in contempt of court, as requested by music companies.
The record companies say Sharman has failed to implement certain filtering technologies as the court ordered by an early-December deadline. The court said it will consider the contempt motion on January 30.
In November, Sharman was ordered by the Federal Court of Australia to install a keyword filter which would have prevented users from accessing files with certain words, including artist names, identified by the record company. Instead, Sharman blocked visitors coming from Australian ISPs from downloading its software. It also warned existing customers in Australia not to use its software.
The record companies say that means Sharman has failed to follow the court's order to filter out copyrighted recordings. The companies have filed the contempt proceedings against Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming, Altnet CEO Kevin Bermeister, Sharman Networks, LEF Interactive, Altnet, and Brilliant Digital Entertainment.
On January 30, Sharman and the record companies will have the chance to argue the contempt issue in front of a judge. Sharman, in a statement, said that its move to block Australian customers from using Kazaa constitutes compliance with the court order. The company says that the record industry is trying to shut Kazaa down rather than allow the implementation of an effective solution.