Thursday, December 07, 2006

Class Action Filed Against Kazaa on Behalf of Customers Sued by RIAA for "Shared File Folders"

In Chicago, Illinois, a Kazaa customer has filed a class action against Kazaa, Lewan v. Sharman, U.S.Dist. Ct., N.D. Ill 06-cv-6736.

The lead plaintiff, Catherine Lewan, was a Kazaa customer who was sued by the RIAA for her use of Kazaa, and paid a settlement to the RIAA.

In her complaint she alleges, among other things, that

-Kazaa deceptively marketed its product as allowing "free downloads" (Complaint, par. 30);

-it designed the software in such a manner as to create a shared files folder and make that folder available to anyone using Kazaa, while at the same time failing to make the user aware that it had done so (Complaint, par. 36-37); and

-it surreptitiously installed "spyware" on users' computers which made the shared files folder accessible to the Kazaa network even after the user had removed the Kazaa software from his or her computer (Complaint, par. 42-45).

Complaint in Lewan v. Sharman, U.S.Dist. Ct., N.D. Ill 06-cv-6736*

On December 8th an amended complaint was filed, clarifying that the class included all Kazaa users sued by the RIAA, and had no geographical limitation.

Amended Complaint in Lewan v. Sharman, U.S.Dist. Ct., N.D. Ill 06-cv-6736*

Ms. Lewan is represented by Charles Lee Mudd, Jr. , of Chicago.

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

(English language)
Ars Technica
tinfoil music
Tech Web
PC Pro
inter alia
Daily Tech

(Other languages)

Heise Online
IT Avisen

Keywords: digital copyright online download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs


Bernhard said...

Oh, yeah, right. RIAA. This cartoon explains everything:


Bernhard said...

Ahh. Sorry. Correct link here


StephenH said...

I wonder which side the RIAA will take on this issue. I don't see them taking a consumers side, but I don't see them taking KaZaa's side either Especially that they sued them for copyright infringement already.

What I find interesting is that consumers are going after a P2P network for misleading them. I think this case will be an interesting one. On one hand, KaZaa will probably try to get it thrown out due to the fact that fact that copyright for their actions is their responsibility. I bet the plaintiffs will probably site libel cases here, as well as cases dealing with consumer warranties and recalled products to argue that KaZaa designed a defective project.

Matt Hendry said...

Ray I personally think that this case has very little merit your thoughts please

raybeckerman said...

I think it's a great case. The facts are absolutely true. It's a very clear case for liability in my view.