Judge OKs file-sharing software maker’s bid to sue entertainment companies

Looks like Sharman is going to be allowed to take on the music biz for breaking the terms of their sofware license. That is brave.

A federal judge has ruled that the makers of the most popular file-sharing software can pursue copyright infringement claims against several movie and music companies. Sharman Networks, the company behind the Kazaa file-sharing software, filed a federal lawsuit in September accusing the entertainment companies of using unauthorized versions of its software in their efforts to snoop out users who were downloading copyright music files from others on the network.

Sharman said the companies used Kazaa Lite, an ad-less replica of its software, to get onto the network, and that they violated its own software’s license agreement by sending warning messages to people on its network. U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled last week that Sharman can pursue those claims. Still, Sharman may have a hard time winning its counterclaims “given how fraught with irony” they are, said Evan R. Cox, a copyright law expert in San Francisco.

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