update Former music piracy investigator Michael
Speck, who spearheaded the record companies' long-running
campaign to shutdown Kazaa, has joined the peer-to-peer network's
business partner, Altnet.
Speck was the public face of the
Australian recording industry's long court battle against the
popular file-sharing software, which saw the Federal Court rule
owner Sharman Networks and Altnet authorised users to infringe
music industry copyright.
The legal battle came to an abrupt end last week when
Sharman agreed to pay US$100 million (about AU$150 million) to
four global record labels.
Speaking to ZDNet Australia following the launch of
Altnet's Global File Registry (GFR) product, Speck said he joined the
company he pursued in the courts for so long out of his "moral
"My record in anti-piracy speaks for itself. I had a 10 year
run where I didn't lose a case," he said. Speck has been
recruited to head Altnet's enforcement programs.
"I always made it clear that the [peer-to-peer] technology
needed to be used for legitimate distribution.
"I'd be working away from my moral position if I didn't
support a technology that I believe is a quantum leap forward ... against unauthorised infringing activity."
Throughout court proceedings in 2004 and 2005, Speck frequently
claimed Sharman and Altnet were conspiring to facilitate piracy
on a global scale. He resigned as general manager of Music
Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) in February 2005.
Altnet's GFR is a database of millions of infringing files
with unique identifiers which content owners can track and
present users of unauthorised files with the chance to buy their
"Instead of sitting on their hands during the court case
Altnet developed a future proof solution to the problem of online
piracy," Speck said.
Altnet hopes content owners, peer-to-peer networks, Internet
service providers and law enforcement agencies might be
interested in the product.
However, the product could not stop piracy on some peer-to-peer
networks, according to Speck.
"There are people who are going to want to choose to infringe
"But anyone who wants to be in this space can now create a
legitimate online distribution business."