Kuro, EzPeer initiate P2P industry alliance in Taiwan

Dec 17, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Quincy, CENS
facebook twitter google+ Pin It plurk

Taipei, Dec. 17, 2003 (CENS)--Two Taiwan online music P2P (peer-to-peer) service providers, Kuro and EzPeer, recently initiated the establishment of a P2P industry alliance on the island and will move to absorb new alliance members including counterpart companies as well as relevant scholars and experts etc.

The P2P alliance is scheduled to be formally founded in the second half next year for a comprehensive promotion of P2P industry applications.

Kuro and EzPeer's move was interpreted their efforts to integrate relevant forces to jointly fight against a series of legal activities conducted by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) against their alleged infringement on the copyrights of music record producers.

In the past one month, both the responsible persons of Kuro and EzPeer were indicted by the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office for illegal piracy. The two companies, among Asia's largest unlicensed online music P2P service providers, are facing criminal charges in the latest legal action against unauthorized distribution of copyrighted music on the Internet.

Both Kuro and EzPeer, however, deemed that the P2P technology itself should be neutral and they hoped to resolve the copyright disputes with IFPI by setting up a compulsory authorization mechanism in addition to paying compensatory fees to record producers. The two P2P companies stressed that they would insist on developing the P2P technology and services if the Internet data exchange is a technological trend and a right way to go.

Industry sources said, however, that about 30% to 40% of Kuro and EzPeer's subscribers to online music download services have stopped grabbing music files from the websites for fear of copyright infringement.

A preparatory official of the P2P industry alliance said that the scheduled alliance is expected to really realize the development of the P2P industry in Taiwan. He criticized the prosecutor's indictment as too rude, saying that Kuro and EzPeer did not receive the formal indictment documents and the prosecutor's office rejected to adopt the two companies' legal viewpoints.

Industry sources said that the prosecutor's office indicted Kuro and EzPeer's management teams in accordance with the Copyright Law. Separate charges have been brought against a number of subscribers to the services. IFPI Taiwan marked the announcement of the indictment by asking that Kuro and EzPeer cease their operations immediately.

IFPI Taiwan filed a criminal complaint with the criminal prosecutor earlier in the year, alleging that Kuro and EzPeer were knowingly aiding and abetting copyright infringement, for profits.

Kuro and EzPeer hoped that the Copyright Law can be amended to incorporate new clauses on the compulsory authorization and compensatory fee systems to help solve the long-term disputes between IFPI and P2P service providers.

In response to IFPI's statement that the record producers' revenues and profits were sharply undermined by the unlicensed online music download services, a Kuro official said the revenue and profit drops were mainly caused by a stiff shrinkage in the prices of optical disc recorders and discs seen since 1998.
©1995-2006 Copyright China Economic News Service All Rights Reserved.