October 4, 2004 16:09
WARNING FOR UK FILE SHARERS
It appears Brit internet users could be one step closer to being sued for uploading music onto the internet…
All year the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) has been warning UK music fans who upload songs onto the internet they could face legal action.
Today (October 4) a BPI source has given the strongest hint yet that legal action is coming – some say within the next month.
He told NME.COM: "There are a small percentage of hardcore internet users who are uploading material regardless of its illegality. It would appear that litigation is the only way to deter them. It’s becoming pretty obvious that litigation needs to be there as a deterrent."
The BPI are keen to get a grip on file sharing in the UK as broadband gets more and more popular. Their fear is that with more music fans having access to broadband, downloading albums for free will become easier.
The source continued: "The way we’re all feeling is that we’re sitting on a broadband time bomb. Broadband is a key driver in file sharing, we’ve seen it in the US and Germany. What we want is the growth in broadband, which is forecast to be a real stimulant of growth of legal download services, we don’t want to see it destroy our albums market.
"Since file sharing took hold in 1999, our singles market has halved and we think file sharing has had a massive effect on that. We want to get rid of the library of free music, and litigation could be the only way."
In tandem with the BPI’s threats, 2004 has been a landmark year for legal downloading in the UK, Napster and iTunes both launching, and Radio 1 broadcasting the first ever official download chart.