The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry announced on Tuesday that 3,500 users of the eDonkey file sharing network were facing trial in Germany. Regarded as “biggest single action against illegal file-sharing internationally,” the group was undergoing the prosecution because they had indulged in uploading around 8,000 music files using the most popular peer-to-peer network. Since 2004, Germany has cracked down on over 7,000 file swappers, averaging a settlement of 2,500 euros in each case.
Police investigated 130 premises to collect evidence, the IFPI said, claiming that each individual faces at least thousands of euros in fines. The file sharers face criminal and civil prosecution and may be asked to pay damage claims of several thousand euros each. On average, file sharers are being charged €2,500 (US$3,193), said the IFPI.
According to IFPI chairman John Kennedy, “The music industry has run numerous education campaigns aimed at audiences from parents to schools and internet users. Most people clearly know that file-sharing without permission is illegal – unfortunately it takes legal actions such as this make a real impact on behaviour.”