Five cases set to come to court...

UK record companies are filing their first ever lawsuits for the illegal sharing of music online.

Five cases are set to come to court after the British Phonographic Institute settled out of court with more than 60 others.

BPI Chairman Peter Jenkinson said: “Music fans are increasingly tuning into legal download sites for the choice, value and convenience they offer. But we cannot let illegal filesharers off the hook. They are undermining the legal services, they are damaging music and they are breaking the law.”

The BPI’s general counsel Geoff Taylor added: “So far 60 UK internet users have settled legal claims against them for illegal file-sharing, paying up to £6,500 in compensation. We have tried to agree fair settlements, but if people refuse to deal with the evidence against them, then the law must take its course.

“That is why we have had no choice but to take these five individuals to the High Court We will be seeking an injunction and full damages for the losses they have caused, in addition to the considerable legal costs we are incurring as a result of their illegal activity.”

The three men and two women concerned made a total of 8,906 songs available online, according to the BPI. They were first contacted in April with details of the case against them.