Bird & Bird wins Dutch music fight

Bird & Bird has won a precedent-setting victory in the Dutch Supreme Court for internet file sharing company Kazaa against Dutch royalties collection agency Buma Stemra.

Kazaa appointed Bird & Bird lawyers in The Hague when the case was appealed to the Dutch Supreme Court.

The court ruled that Sharman Networks, the company that develops the Kazaa software, cannot be held liable for the actions of its users. The decision strikes an important blow to the music industry in its ongoing fight against internet file sharing. The media industry is pursuing similar actions in the US.

Bird & Bird senior associate Camilo Schutte, who worked with partner Wouter Pors on the case, said: “These conclusions were also in conformity with European directives. This means that it’s an important precedent under Dutch law and under European law.”

Buma Stemra was represented by De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. De Brauw, Houthoff Buruma and Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn hold a near monopoly on Dutch Supreme Court work that Bird & Bird is attempting to break.