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The music industry announced more than 8,000 new legal cases today in a massive crackdown on illegal music sharing. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said that cases have been launched in 17 countries including Brazil where one billion tracks were downloaded last year and record companies claim sales have halved since 2000. It’s the first time actions against file sharing have been brought in Brazil, as well as Mexico and Poland.
These are a mix of civil and criminal cases against individuals that normally result in a fine of around $3,000; in some cases parents are the subject of the suit when they are liable for their children’s illegal downloads. The target: uploaders who make or made music available on P2P networks like BitTorrent, eDonkey, Gnutlle, Limewire, SoulSeek, DirectConnect and WinMX. IFPI chairman and CE John Kennedy: “In each of the 17 countries involved in today’s actions there are legal music services available to consumers. There is no excuse. People should understand that they can be caught whatever network they are using.”
This is hardly an efficient or sustainable way of dealing with illegal music downloads. It builds a huge amount of ill-feeling against the record companies and you could argue that it makes hardened P2P fans more resistant to legal services. Release
Related: @ Mipcom: Interview With The Pirate King – Ashwin Navin Of BitTorrent
— Digital Cold War Over AllofMP3.com
— Kazaa Settles With Music Industry, Hollywood; P2P Owner Will Pay $100-Plus Million, Go Legit
— Limewire Countersues Record Companies For Anti-Competitive Practice
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.