Dale Dietrich
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RIAA P2P Defendant Brings Class Action Suit Against Kazaa Creator Sharman Networks

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCasesClass Actions

  Text of Amended Complaint (December 8, 2006)
Catherine Lewan, a defendant who settled with the RIAA in one of its many law suits, is now suing Sharman Networks, the creator of Kazaa.  The compliant alleges:

  • Sharman deceptively marketed Kazza as a product allowing "free downloads";
  • the software created a shared files folder (presumably creating the RIAA law-suit liability) without disclosing this to users;
  • the software it installed spyware 

Dale's Comment: This one reminds me a bit of the law suits against Starbucks a few years back where the plaintiffs claimed the coffee was too hot or the lawsuits against McDonalds claiming McDonalds was legally liable for their getting fat. Any user of P2P software knows how the software works and, indeed, can see it working. Files being shared in the shared folder are typically shown graphically in the P2P client's user interface as they are being shared. 

While I have little sympathy for the first claims, I do believe that most P2P users never knew that the quid-pro-quo for using the software was the installation of Spyware. Indeed, when a Spyware-free version of Kazza (Kazaa Lite) was distributed without Sharman's consent I seem to recall Sharman using efforts to shut it down.

Sources: Daily Tech | ars technica| Recording Industry v. The People | P2PNet | techdirt | TechWeb 

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