March 14, 2005 11:00 AM PST

U.K. gets tough on music swappers

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The U.K. music industry has compared the fight against illegal online file sharing with curbing drunk driving.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is likely to bring further legal action against U.K. citizens accused of sharing copyright-protected files over the Internet.

Late last week the BPI won a court ruling that will force six ISPs to name 31 subscribers suspected of illegally sharing music.

Speaking on Monday, a BPI spokesman suggested that last Friday's legal success--which followed a similar court action in October--will prove to be just one part of a long-term process of changing people's behavior online through legal action.

"In terms of behavioral change, the U.K. government has broadcast the dangers of drunk driving, but people still drunk drive," said the BPI spokesman.

The ISPs involved in the case now have 14 days to provide the names sought by the BPI. The individuals named will then be invited to settle the charges, probably by paying a fine of around $3,820 (2,000 pounds).

The BPI hopes that the amount of publicity generated by last week's court success will deter Internet users from uploading copyright material to file-swapping networks.

But despite the group's tough stance, the spokesman recognized that the BPI is still facing an uphill struggle to convince file-swappers that they are in the wrong.

"We're reluctant to say, 'OK, the job's done. Let's spend money on making records,'" the BPI spokesman said. "I suspect that the problem won't go away just because we've launched two rounds of litigation."

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London.

5 comments

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File sharing isn't going to kill anyone...
...
Posted by (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
i see the future
Sooner than later George Bush and his Blair witch monkey will declare war on file sharing. Songswapers will be rounded up and brought secretly to Guantanamo bay. There they will get sensory deprivation and electroshocks till they get this into their heads: sharing songs everybody hears on the radio is very wrong. Paying 14$ on a Brittney spears cd which costs 1.4$ to make is very good.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
UK Gets Tough on File Swapers
RE: "In terms of behavioral change, the U.K. government has broadcast the dangers of drunk driving, but people still drunk drive," said the BPI spokesman.

This would be laughable if these people were not serious. What is next - Martial Law??? Who voted in the people in who make (and enforce) our laws? It is getting to the point that govenment is not answerable to anyone!!!!
Posted by stevezd (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about the real pirates - the music industry itself!
How come everyone except the media industries knows that the best way to beat piracy is to sell CD's, DVD's and software at a reasonable price!
If you could buy a new CD or DVD for £5 you wouldn't bother with a pirate copy, would you?

The amount of money the industry spends on anti-piracy lawsuits, macrovision protection, etc could easily cover the price reduction per disc and the increased volume of sales would be proof.

When you see unknown musicians on MTV cribs in their big mansions, film stars getting $20 per movie and Bill Gates still the world's richest man, how can they seriously tell us that piracy is harming their businesses!
No doubt when the next CD and DVD formats come out we will be expected to bin our existing discs and re-purchase our entire collection just to line the pockets of these greedy companies.

Yes, piracy is rife in the music, film and software industry, but the pirates belong to the industry itself!
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
The real pirates are the music, film and software companies!
How come everyone except the media industries knows that the best way to beat piracy is to sell CD's, DVD's and software at a reasonable price!
If you could buy a new CD or DVD for £5 you wouldn't bother with a pirate copy, would you?

The amount of money the industry spends on anti-piracy lawsuits, macrovision protection, etc could easily cover the price reduction per disc and the increased volume of sales would be proof.

When you see unknown musicians on MTV cribs in their big mansions, film stars getting $20 million per movie and Bill Gates still the world's richest man, how can they seriously tell us that piracy is harming their businesses!
No doubt when the next CD and DVD formats come out we will be expected to bin our existing discs and re-purchase our entire collection just to line the pockets of these greedy companies.

Yes, piracy is rife in the music, film and software industry, but the pirates belong to the industry itself!
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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