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Court cracks down on file-swapping company

The file-swapping firm is told to prevent people using its software for copyright infringement or face massive fines
Written by Jasper Koning, Contributor

A Dutch court on Thursday ordered file-swapping software maker Kazaa to prevent people using its product from engaging in copyright infringement or face thousands of dollars in fines.

The order takes effect in 14 days and imposes a fine around 100,000 guilders (£29,000) a day.

"We don't know how the judge wants us to stop copyright infringement," Kazaa attorney Christiaan Alberdinck Thijm told ZDNet UK's affiliate in the Netherlands on Thursday. "We feel as if the judge didn't put much time and effort into this part of the verdict."

The court's decision comes in a suit brought by Dutch copyright organisation Buma/Stemra, which has been in on-and-off licensing negotiations with Kazaa. The software maker has counter-sued, charging Buma/Stemra with antitrust violations for refusing to negotiate.

Thursday's decision ordered Buma/Stemra to resume licensing talks, which were broken off last month after the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America filed a copyright infringement suit in the United States against Kazaa and several other makers of file-swapping software.

Staff writer Jasper Koning reported from Hilversum, and News.com's Evan Hansen reported from San Francisco.

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