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Thousands more file sharers sued

Uploaders in 10 countries face legal action

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Recording industry watchdog IFPI is taking legal action against 2,000 people in 10 countries across Europe accused of sharing music files.

There is a mixture of civil and criminal cases, depending on the country. In Portugal, one country in which the IFPI is taking action, it blames a 40 per cent fall in album and single sales in the last four years on illegal sharing.

The latest action brings the total number of people in Europe facing charges to 5,500. On average, those settling with the IFPI pay €2,633.

IFPI general counsel and executive vice president Geoff Taylor told the Reg: "It's important to get the message out to parents that they're responsible for what their kids do online."

Taylor said the action was aimed at uploaders, but downloaders should remember their actions are also illegal. Taylor also predicted that copyright holders would increasingly go after ISPs as well as users - 130 people in France recently had their internet access cut off because they were uploading music. More from IFPI press release here.

The figures contrast with those from XTN Data, which surveyed 1,000 UK music fans. The survey found that 28 per cent of them had downloaded tracks without paying, compared to 25 per cent last year. It found iTunes still on top, with AllofMP3.com - a quasi-legal Russian site - in second place. The Russian site sells albums for £1, compared to iTunes' 79 pence per track charge. The IFPI tried to take action against AllofMP3, but failed.

XTN also found only 12 per cent of respondents think legal action is the way to stop filesharing. Unsurprisingly, they found cheaper pricing and easier to use services were more likely to get them using legal sites.

XTN Data founder Grieg Harper told the Reg: "We're the only big, anonymous UK survey - I'd be surprised if people were so honest to an organisation interested in suing them. There are probably seven million people in the UK file sharing to some extent, even if it's just picking up a track once a month, so legal action against so many people isn't really a realistic option."

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