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Monday, December 19, 2011

Kazaa Developer Will Sue Internet Giants

Experienced file-sharers must be familiar with the history of Kazaa – the early peer-to-peer file-sharing application, as well as with its downfall because of copyright issues and its comeback efforts. It seems that today the tables have turned, and Kazaa developer Kevin Bermeister is currently the chairman of an important American company intending to sue online giants like Google and Amazon for patent violation in a case expected to be worth hundreds of millions.
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6 years ago, Kevin Bermeister was sued by the entertainment industry as a Kazaa developer and reached a settlement of $150 million. Now he has turned his attention towards the developing technology to fight online piracy. Today Bermeister appears to be an important shareholder and non-executive chairman of a company called PersonalWeb. A couple weeks ago it has filed a number of separate cases in the US District Court against online giants like Google, YouTube, Amazon, and EMC.

The company claimed that those companies violated 8 PersonalWeb patents in their cloud computing products, which includes content addressable storage, as well as distributed search engine technologies. The company’s CEO explained that they protect their proprietary business apps and operations via a portfolio of patents the company owns, and are currently actively pursuing licensing and participation in the operation of companies using such patents.

PersonalWeb helped develop related technologies – for example, the Internet collaboration platform for students named StudyBods, thanks to using their patents. One more project, developed by Bermeister and his team, is called Global File Registry (GFR) and is meant to turn Internet service providers into cyberpolice to stop Internet piracy and child porno. The latter can identify millions of known pirated files, so once it is accomplished GFR would offer a legitimate version of the content, and a law enforcement message is sent for kids porno. Meanwhile, Bermeister, before launching Kazaa, was also known for the creation of video games distributor Ozisoft 30 years ago, the former Sega World theme park in Australia back in 1994, and for being an important investor in Skype.

His complaint claims that Google’s, YouTube’s, and others’ core services are violating the company’s patents around identifying, processing, distributing and controlling access to information on the Internet.

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