[JURIST] The entertainment industry and Sharman Networks [corporate website] announced Thursday that they had reached a settlement [press release] regarding Sharman's Kazaa software, which allowed illegal Internet downloads of music and movies [JURIST news archive]. The company agreed to pay "substantial" penalties – $115 million, according to a Los Angeles Times report – and to discourage online piracy by creating roadblocks for users who try to download copyrighted materials from the Internet without paying. Sharman plans to set up a lawful means for users to buy music and movies through negotiated licenses with entertainment distributors.
Members of the Motion Picture Association of America [industry association website] and the Recording Industry Association of America [industry association website] praised the settlement and expressed hope that it marks a move toward the end of Internet piracy. The industry was able to sue Sharman based on the US Supreme Court's decision [opinion text] last year allowing lawsuits against technology companies [JURIST report] that encourage the stealing of copyrighted materials online. AP has more. The Los Angeles Times has additional coverage.