Aussie ISP promises to keep disputed site offline

Internet service provider ComCen has agreed to Federal Court demands that the MP3 site at the centre of legal action remains down

Internet service provider ComCen has given temporary undertakings to the Federal Court in Sydney not to repost the Web site at the heart of a case over alleged copyright infringement allegations.

Record company and ComCen lawyers met before Judge Brian Tamberlin at the Federal Court in Sydney, and ComCen agreed not to repost the site under question nor to allow any other Web site to be put up under the URL www.mp3s4free.net.

This was the most probable outcome after Stephen Cooper, the owner of the site www.mp3s4free.net, removed the site yesterday after indicating he didn't have the financial resources for an extended legal battle. ComCen had previously refused to remove the site, but director Liam Bal told ZDNet Australia that since the site was no longer operational, they were conserving energy for the main battle over whether any infringements occurred and, if so, whether the Internet provider was liable.

Last week, Universal Music Australia, EMI Music Australia, Sony Music Entertainment (Australia), Warner Music Australia, BMG Australia and Festival Records took both Cooper and ComCen to court alleging copyright infringement over the Web site www.mp3s4free.net. ComCen and Cooper claim that the Web site only offered links to MP3 files, and was therefore analogous to a directory service such as Yahoo. Bal said ComCen would fight the case strongly.

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