Well well well. All the news today reports that Kazaa has settled with the American Music Industry, agreeing to pay $US115 million ($A151 million) and convert to a legal business model with licensing arrangements to be negotiated with record labels (see The Age here, Washington Post here; Techdirt here)

Now I can’t help but wonder whether we have several Federal Court judges who, having spent quite a few days in February hearing the matter, and perhaps a bit of time writing a judgment, are now a little deflated.

Guess we won’t be getting a Full Federal Court view on what constitutes authorisation of copyright infringement. The rather spare reasoning of Justice Wilcox will stand.

Sigh. And I was so looking forward to dissecting another big copyright judgment or two.

Update: more news from Techdirt: apparently some of the settlement is being paid by the Kazaa founders.

Update 2: I’m told by a reader that I shouldn’t despair (yet). As one reader pointed out, the court can still publish reasons where there are ‘principle[s] of general importance’, and an appeal can only be discontinued with leave of the court (which presumably could be refused). And in any event, the appeal in Cooper – another copyright case also raising authorisation issues – is due to be heard in early August…

Update 3: I should have noted before: Peter Black on Freedom to Differ has also commented.

Update 4: First thing this morning: come in to work to find all the newspapers and US blogs reporting the Kazaa settlement. 8:24am: blog the story on Weatherall’s Law, then LawFont. 10:30am: receive notice from the Australian Copyright Council regarding the settlement. 4:48pm: receive Freehills Intellectual Property Update notifying me of the settlement. Observations: (a) the ‘more traditional’ sources of IP news (law firms, Copyright Council) are pretty quick these days; (b) do you think blogs – as part of the ‘always on’ news and information cycle – have anything to do with this? (c) I’m going to be out of a blogging purpose if law firms become more like blogs… won’t that be good!

Update 5: more rather amusing commentary on the settlement from Geeklawyer, and sensible points from Technollama – like, this is hardly a victory, right?