While seemingly making no one happy, Justice Murray Wilcox has ordered the owner of Kazaa, Sharman Networks, to modify the software to block a list of 3000 search terms by December 5. Kazaa was asking the judge to allow them to use Audible Magic’s audio fingerprinting technology to determine what downloads should be blocked, while the record companies were asking for at least 10,000 search terms to be blocked. For Sharman to use the Audble Magic software, the architecture of Kazaa would require major changes they did not anticipate being able to release until March 2006, three months past the current deadline the judge has imposed. In addition, the judge noted that the company had not previously discussed using this software, while at the same time acknowledging that it sounded like it would be a solution to all the problems. In order for Kazaa to be allowed to use this technology instead of keyword filtering, it would have to show it to be more effective. The record companies were looking to have 10,000 terms blocked, but at least will be able to update the list of keywords every two weeks. Meanwhile, Sharman is looking to their February court date for an appeal, after which this interim solution will be modified one way or the other.
Posted by Jeff