BPI To Bring First Legal Actions Against ‘Major Filesharers’ in the UK

November 2004

Record Labels

The British record companies trade association the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) has announced that it is joining sister associations in the US and in Europe to begin a rolling programme of legal action against ‘major filesharers’ who illegally make copyright music available to millions of people across the world on peer-to-peer networks. The BPI is beginning the process of legal action against 28 UK filesharers. More cases are expected to follow. The BPI will seek damages and injunctions to stop these filesharers illegally uploading recordings on to filesharing networks. The large-scale uploaders subject to legal action include users of the KaZaA, Imesh, Grokster, Bearshare and WinMX networks. The announcement comes against the background of a breakthrough year for legal online music services in the UK, with the launch of high-profile services like Mycokemusic, iTunes and Napster and the launch on September 1st of an Official UK Download Chart. However the major labels and the BPI have done little to endear themselves to the British consumers having allowed Apple and Coke to develop business models which consumers actually want at a price they will pay. The labels own services were unwanted and poorly thought out. BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said, “We have been warning for months that unauthorized file-sharing is illegal. These are not people casually downloading the odd track. They are uploading music on a massive scale, effectively stealing the livelihoods of thousands of artists and the people who invest in them.” After warning of possible legal actions in March over 350,000 instant messages have been sent to uploaders’ computers warning them of the consequences if they continue. The announcement of the first actions in the UK forms part of an announcement from international record companies’ trade body the IFPI of a total of 459 new legal actions against illegal filesharers across six European countries.

See : http://www.ifpi.org

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