Sharman continues file-sharing evidence fight

Kazaa's owner is continuing its fight to have file-sharing data ruled inadmissible in court

Sharman Networks and the Music Industry Piracy Investigation (MIPI) will be back in the Australian Federal court later this week for yet another legal contest over access to evidence that was confiscated in raids last February.

MIPI, which is investigating the allegations of music copyright infringement against Sharman Networks, today claimed the software company was in defiance of court orders handed down last February giving it access to the evidence.

Sharman Networks, the owner and distributor of the peer-to-peer file sharing program Kazaa, was ordered to schedule times to allow MIPI to see the evidence.

Sharman has until Friday to produce a schedule of times giving MIPI access to the evidence; however, the investigation company's general manager, Michael Speck, claims the software provider will not meet the deadline.

"The last time we were in court his honour said that we must have access to the material by the 14 May, and they have not obliged us with access," said Speck.

Speck claims Sharman Networks will apply for a review of the access terms on Friday. However, he opined that the court would be "unlikely to be sympathetic to [Sharman's] appeal" if it missed the Friday deadline.

MIPI seized the evidence from the premises of Sharman Network's and a number of associated companies in accordance with an Anton Piller order it secured from the federal court on 6 February. The documents were taken to support MIPI's claim that Sharman is liable for copyright infringements carried out by users of its file-sharing program, Kazaa.

Sharman has lobbied the court on several occasions to have the evidence made inadmissible; Speck today opined that the company's latest actions show the evidence must not be favourable to their case.

"We can't see any other reason why they are so vigorously avoiding giving us access to any of the material," said Speck. "This shows an absurd desperation to keep the evidence from us."

ZDNet Australia's Abby Dinham reported from Sydney. For more coverage on ZDNet Australia, click here.