KaZaA sells assets to Australian company

An Australian firm, Sharman Networks Ltd., has bought some assets of KaZaA BV, the Amsterdam-based file-swapping software developer under fire from the music industry, the company said in a statement Monday. Sharman Networks has restarted distribution of KaZaA's peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file sharing software, KaZaA Media Desktop.

Downloads of the software were suspended last Thursday as a result of a two-month-old legal dispute with Dutch music licensing body Buma/Stemra. However, Sharman Networks restarted offering the software on KaZaA.com over the weekend.

The deal includes the Web site KaZaA.com, the KaZaA brand and logo, and KaZaA's license for FastTrack BV's P-to-P software stack, according to the statement. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"The Web site (KaZaA.com) is now entirely run by Sharman. It is about the consumer service and our desire to have that running as soon as possible," said a Kelly Larabee, a spokeswoman from Sharman Networks' public relations company.

It is unclear whether the KaZaA Media Desktop is also part of the deal. The software is often used to exchange music, movies and software, including copyright-protected material, and it was for this reason that KaZaA was sued in the Netherlands by Buma/Stemra, a case it lost, and in the U.S. by the music and motion picture industry, a case for which a court date has yet to be set.

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