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A 23-year-old man has become the first music sharer to be successfully convicted in Germany for uploading songs to Kazaa.

And expect more such cases across Europe, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) warned today.

The unnamed German was fined €8000 ($9814/£5351) for making thousands of songs available to other Kazaa users. He must also pay the case's legal costs, the court ruled. He must also sign a pledge never again to engage in music piracy.

The man's identity was revealed by Kazaa last April to German prosecutors. Police raided his house in the city of Cottbus and seized a PC containing 6000 MP3 files and CD-Rs holding over 1000 songs. He pleaded guilty to the copyright infringement charges laid against him.

The case is one of 68 brought before the German court by local music industry representatives, IFPI said. Among them is a 57-year-old teacher from Stuttgart who Police discovered owned 25 CDs yet had managed to fill his PC with several thousand tracks. He too admitted that he had committed copyright infringement.

Now a precedent has been established, more cases will come, Gerd Gebhardt, chairman of IFPI's German wing, said in statement.

Indeed, in addition to the 68 cases in Germany, 24 are pending in Denmark and 30 more in Italy. Some 17 Danes have already coughed to their actions and have paid "compensation" to the music industry.

"We can confirm that there will be more legal actions in other countries in the near future," said IFPI chairman and CEO Jay Berman. ®

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