Music industry launches piracy lawsuits in Europe
LONDON -- An international music industry group said today that hundreds of lawsuits were being filed across Europe accusing people of piracy for illegally sharing music on the Internet.
The lawsuits target 459 groups and individuals in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Austria, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said.
The lawsuits include both criminal and civil complaints against people alleged to have put hundreds of copyrighted songs onto Internet file-sharing networks and offering them to millions of people worldwide without permission, the London-based group said.
"After spending more than a year raising awareness that file-sharing other people's copyrighted music is illegal, and sending tens of millions of instant messages, we are now prepared to do more than talk about the law, but to enforce it," said the group's chairman and chief executive, Jay Berman.
The industry group launched a similar, but smaller, round of lawsuits against illegal file-sharing in March. More than 80 people in Germany and Denmark so far have agreed to compensation payments of up to $16,000 each.