Record labels, internet
The biggest single action against illegal file-sharing internationally has taken place in Germany today as 3,500 illegal music file-sharers faced criminal prosecution for uploading large amounts of copyrighted material on peer-to-peer networks. Investigators identified individual illegal music file-sharers who were using the eDonkey network to offer up to 8,000 copyright infringing music files on the internet. Each of the individuals now faces both criminal prosecution and claims for compensation for their actions under civil law. They are likely to face damage claims of up to several thousand euros for distributing music on file-sharing networks according to the IFPI. Police searched 130 premises to gather evidence in the investigations, which have been running for several months. The actions were coordinated by the Public Prosecution Service of Cologne and the Police Authority of Bergheim. In Germany, legal physical sales of music have fallen by a third in five years, while more than 400 million music files were downloaded illegally in 2005 alone and the German recording industry has taken high-profile actions against file-sharers since early 2004. They are part of an international campaign that has seen more than 7,000 legal proceedings brought against uploaders in the last three years.