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"We are stunned by this verdict."
——Buma Stemra representative

DUTCH TREAT FOR FILE-SWAPPING

Netherlands Appeals Court Overturns Ban on KaZaA, Though the Company’s History—Victory for Tech or Disaster for Copyright?
Hey man, in Amsterdam, you can buy pot at a cafe and smoke it right at your table. You can even bring a hooker with you.

Now you can distribute peer-to-peer software there, too, man. Groovy, huh?

A Dutch appeals court has overturned a ban on KaZaA, one of the infamous decentralized file-swapping applications that millions of folks are using worldwide to swap media and games online.

It was a blow for Netherlands music-rights organization Buma Stemra, which won a decision in November that resulted in a judge’s order banning further distribution of KaZaA software (see story, 11/29/01).

"We are stunned by this verdict," noted a Buma Stemra representative. "If you need us, we will be at the Melkweg, drowning our sorrows with a fat blunt and a redhead named Liselotte."

Meanwhile, KaZaA founder Niklas Zennstrom declared the decision "a great victory for our company and for the whole technology sector. Please join us at the Melkweg to celebrate with a fat blunt and some prostitutes."

The victory came too late for KaZaA; its  main assets were sold last year to Australian company Sharman Networks after the initial ruling.

How will this latest wrinkle affect worldwide efforts to crack down on file-sharing? Beats the fuck out of us.

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