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Legal Actions Knock Out Illegal File-Sharing Servers Across Europe

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

25 September 2007


It was announced last week that a series of actions against peer-to-peer (P2P) servers connecting millions of illegal file-sharers has been welcomed by the recording industry, in its fight against internet music piracy.

According to the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), seven servers on eDonkey were shut down last week, after court injunctions in Germany. This followed on from similar eDonkey server closures in Netherlands and France. Combined, these represent a major disruption to one of the top three file-sharing networks, according to IFPI.

eDonkey is a peer-to-peer file sharing network widely used to swap copyright infringing music files. The eDonkey network relies on servers for its effective operation. eDonkey servers are run by one or more individuals using software to enable users to find other users connected to the same server that have files the user wants to download.

In a statement, the IFPI announced that:

"A series of legal actions by national groups of IFPI, representing the recording industry, have forced many eDonkey servers offline, significantly reducing the effectiveness and reach of the network. In the last few weeks the number of eDonkey users worldwide has been reduced by more than a million, knocking an estimated third of users off the network. Fresh actions will continue to target the remaining eDonkey servers."

It continued:

"The actions against P2P servers were taken by IFPI's national affiliates, supported by its dedicated internet anti-piracy unit which monitors traffic on the eDonkey and other networks. A variety of legal tools and measures have been used, depending on national law, to get the servers offline. Earlier this year, steps taken by French anti-piracy experts led to the closure of all the music-related eDonkey servers in that country. In August, Dutch anti-piracy investigators took action against the so-called BigBang servers in the Netherlands."

"This week saw the DonkeyServer group in Germany go offline following the granting of seven injunctions against their operator in various regional courts around the country."

Jeremy Banks, Head of IFPI's global Internet Anti-Piracy Unit, added:

"These actions show the reach of the recording industry's internet anti-piracy operation. IFPI has an expert team which traces the origin of illegal content on the internet and works with law enforcement agencies to get copyright-infringing content off the internet."

The new actions against servers are part of the recording industry's multi-pronged strategy against illegal P2P file-sharing. This includes continuing legal actions against tens of thousands of serious individual uploaders, including users of eDonkey, who face civil or criminal action depending on national law. More than 50,000 actions worldwide have been announced to date.

TAGS: Italy

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