The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has filed High Court claims against five people alleged to have ‘uploaded’ copyrighted music to internet sites.
The BPI is seeking injunctions against the five, three men and two women, who live in Kings Lynn, Crawley, Port Talbot, Brighton, and South Glamorgan. The recording industry body claims the five are responsible for making more than 8,900 tracks available to others without permission.
The action represents the most high profile activity in a sweep of such activity which began in October last year when it launched the first lawsuit actions in Britain with 28 cases pursued.
These five cases resulted from a court order in March which required internet service providers to name holders of accounts which were suspected of being used for file-sharing.
The BPI agreed out-of-court settlements of up to £6,500 with 60 illegal file sharers over the past year. It is pursuing a further 20 cases.
Peter Jamieson, the BPI chairman, said: "Music fans are increasingly tuning in to legal download sites for the choice, value and convenience they offer. But we cannot let illegal file sharers off the hook. They are undermining the legal services, they are damaging music and they are breaking the law."
The BPI blames illegal file sharing for a worldwide fall in sales of 22 per cent between 1999 and 2004. The music industry is targeting what it calls prolific ‘uploaders’ - people who offer their own music collections for free.
Geoff Taylor, the BPI's general counsel, said: "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.
The account-holders were first contacted by the BPI in April with the details of the case against them.
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