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IFPI Launches New Wave Of File-Sharing Legal Actions

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

19 October 2006

Legal actions against thousands of music file-sharers across the world were announced by the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) on Tuesday.

Over 8,000 new cases in 17 countries have been launched by the Federation, including the first ever cases against illegal file-sharing in the two biggest markets of South America and in Eastern Europe. A total of more than 13,000 legal actions have now been taken outside the United States.

Legal actions are being extended to Brazil, where more than one billion music tracks were illegally downloaded last year and a country where record company revenues have nearly halved since 2000.

Mexico and Poland are also seeing actions for the first time - while a further 14 countries are launching fresh actions against illegal file-sharing.

Over 2,300 people have already paid the price for illegally file-sharing copyrighted material, with average legal settlements of EUR2,420.

The recording industry body is targeting uploaders using all the major unauthorised P2P services, including BitTorrent, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, SoulSeek and WinMX.

The campaign involves illegal file-sharers in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore and Switzerland.

John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI, announced that:

"Consumers today can get music legally in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago with over three million tracks available on nearly 400 sites worldwide as well as an array of mobile platforms. Yet some people continue to consume their music illegally, refusing to respect the creative work of artists, songwriters and record producers."

"As a result we reluctantly continue with our legal actions and today sees the latest escalation of that campaign to show that file-sharing copyrighted music does carry real legal risks - apart from the risks to privacy and the risks from spyware and viruses. Around the world many people have already paid a heavy price for their illegal file-sharing. They all thought they were unlikely to be caught, but teachers, postal workers, IT managers, scientists and people in a host of other occupations, as well as parents, have ended up having to dig deeply into their pockets. The money they have had to pay as a result of the court cases could have been spent on other things."

"In each of the 17 countries involved in today's actions there are legal music services available to consumers. There is no excuse. People should understand that they can be caught whatever network they are using. The next time a series of law suits are announced you could be on the receiving end if you are an illegal file-sharer."

TAGS: Italy

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