BPI TO SUE FILE SHARERS

The organisation say that more cases are expected to follow...

The BPI have announced this morning (October 7) that they are taking legal action against 28 UK file sharers, kicking off a rolling programme of legal action against “major uploaders”.

The organisation say that more cases are expected to follow. The uploaders subject to legal action include users of the KaZaA, Imesh, Grokster, Bearshare and WinMX networks.

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.”

The BPI issued a warning in March saying that if the problem of unauthorised file-sharing did not improve, legal action would follow. Since then it has sent out over 350,000 instant messages to uploaders’ computers warning them of the consequences if they continue.

Jamieson said: “We have resisted legal action as long as we could. But we would be derelict in our duty to protect and promote British music were we not to take action to demonstrate that this activity is illegal and harmful to every aspect of the creative British music industry. We believe we have no alternative other than to enforce our rights through the courts.”

The announcement of the first actions in the UK coincides with an announcement from international record companies’ trade body the IFPI of 457 new legal actions against illegal file sharers across six European countries.

This year has seen a rise in legal online music services in the UK, with the launch of high-profile services like Mycokemusic, iTunes and Napster and the launch on September 1 of an Official UK Download Chart.

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