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April 12, 2005

Music industry launches fresh attack on illegal file sharers

As the war against music piracy continues, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has armed itself with a reported 963 new lawsuits in Europe and Asia.

By CBR Staff Writer

At the same time, the group’s ally, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) announced it was re-entering the battlefield with 33 fresh new cases brought against internet users in the UK who were caught illegally downloading music files. It comes a month after the same organization slapped a hefty GBP 50,000 fine on 23 UK citizens to settle out of court.

The latest wave of litigation is expected to affect 11 countries including Japan, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Iceland, in a war that has involved an estimated total of over 11,000 music pirates.

According to media speculation, the new lawsuits accuse people of putting copyright songs onto online peer-to-peer file-sharing networks such as Kazaa and newer services including eDonkey and BitTorrent, then offering them over the web without the record companies’ permission. Those found guilty of these criminal and civil complaints are likely to face massive compensation payments.

The reason for the clamp down has been criticized by many industry observers, who believe the music industry is primarily concerned with singles sales losses and are failing to capitalize on the increasingly popular use of downloading technology.

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