The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has begun taking action against 247 alleged illegal music sharers in four counties. They are targeting individuals making a large number of files available on a range of P2P systems including Kazaa, DirectConnect, WinMX, eMule and iMesh.
Although much of the action consists of letters threatening a legal response, individuals in Italy and Canada are already being taken to court.
Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI. said: “Today’s announcement should come as no surprise. Over the past year the record industry has been extremely active internationally and locally, educating the public about the huge damage being done by illegal file-sharing, explaining the laws and promoting all the sites where large catalogues of copyrighted music are available for consumers to access legitimately.”
The IFPI is promising legal action against more illegal sharers in coming months – but is keen to stress that this first round of action comes only after an extensive attempt at educating the public. Yet, and independent survey reveals that some 45% of respondents did not know that downloading music from P2P sites like Kazaa is illegal.
The industry is getting tough: Peter Zombik, CEO of IFPI Germany said in a statement: “The unauthorised distribution of music on the web has increased to such an extent over the last few years that it is threatening the livelihood of the German music industry. Whilst we have so far concentrated our legal actions on illegal music offers on websites – in the last two years we were able to close down more than 2000 such websites in Germany – we also carried out an extensive public information campaign in the last year in order to increase the awareness for the legal and technical dangers involved in illegal file swapping. Excuses about being unaware of the legal position are no longer acceptable. ”