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Record companies are seeking $200 million in damages from Sharman Networks, operator of the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing network, which is used by millions round the world for illegal copying of music, the company has revealed.

Sharman says the NSW Full Court in February will hear its appeal on the copyright case it lost in Federal Court, conditional on Kazaa filtering out 3000 keywords linked to copyrighted material by December 5.

This will block distribution of hundreds, if not thousands, of popular-artist tracks on its peer-to-peer network.

Justice Murray Wilcox in September found that Sharman/Kazaa had infringed the music companies’ copyrights by authorising its users to commit “infringing acts”, or musical piracy.

At that stage he imposed a November 5 deadline, later extended to December 5, for Sharman to modify the software to block downloads of copyright musical works.

At a subsequent hearing last week he ordered Sharman Networks to block the 3000 search terms – primarily artist and song names – to be supplied by the record companies. The record companies wanted Kazaa to block a list of 10,000 keywords, according to counsel Tony Bannon, who described the 3000 as “inadequate”.

The imposition of the deadline follows a verdict in September that Kazaa users were breaching copyright and that the network’s owners had to modify the software.

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