Judge cracks the whip in Sharman case

Justice Murray Wilcox has promised to "crack the whip" in regards to the Sharman Networks alleged copyright infringement court battle, saying the company that owns the file-sharing service Kazaa has given "too many promises".The justice ordered in court today that Sharman must hand over all the evidence relating to music files that were seized last February under Anton Pillar (or civil search warrant) orders with the next 14 days.

Justice Murray Wilcox has promised to "crack the whip" in regards to the Sharman Networks alleged copyright infringement court battle, saying the company that owns the file-sharing service Kazaa has given "too many promises".

The justice ordered in court today that Sharman must hand over all the evidence relating to music files that were seized last February under Anton Pillar (or civil search warrant) orders with the next 14 days.

Applicants of the case, Universal music and other various labels, were instructed to provide the responding parties -- including Brilliant Digital Entertainment and AltNet -- with a list of the most pressing documents they require (from the music file category) so that the case may incrementally proceed with the evidence discovery process.

His official ruling stated "By the close of business on Monday the 19th of July the applicants are to provide all respondents of categories of documents to discovery of which is sought as first priority. Those documents are to be provided progressively and as soon as possible but subject to any contrary agreement or order to which not later than Friday the 30th of July."

Sharman's lawyer Bob Ellicott QC cautioned the justice that there may not be enough time to go through all the documents which are referred to as "schedule A", however, justice Wilcox retorted that he will want affidavits from Sharman as to why the material would not be delivered.

"We've had too many promises here its necessary to put a deadline on it, I've got to crack the whip," said Justice Wilcox.

The case has been laboriously debated in court since February, with Sharman contesting the Anton Pillar orders that saw Sharman and related companies searched, and further debates have arisen regarding access to the seized material and procedural matters for the case's continuation.

John Nicholas, senior counsel for the Universal Music parties in the absence of Tony Bannon QC -- representing all of the music industry applicants -- said they will be narrowing their case down for a faster prosecution.

"We'll nominate the 100 sound recordings which represent a cross-section of the company's catalogues and the recordings we say are subject to frequent activity across the [Kazaa] systems," he said. However he added that access to the Schedule A material is needed for this to happen.

Justice Wilcox acceded to this notion by stating to the Sharman lawyers that "there's an urgent need for you to provide the material so they can narrow the case".

Sharman lawyers handed a CD over to the Universal party today containing "thousands of documents", according to Ellicott QC; however the nature of those documents is not yet publicly known.

The parties are expected back in court on the 27th of July; the hearing is still expected to take place 29th of November this year.

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