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IFPI Launches New Round of Legal Actions
October 17, 2006
Thomas Mennecke
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The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has resumed its enforcement actions against the file-sharing community. The latest round of enforcement actions represents a departure from a nearly six month wait. File-sharers were last confronted in April of 2006, when 1,800 individuals were targeted for suspected unauthorized file-sharing.

Today's announcement represents many "firsts" in the fight against unauthorized file-sharing. As an international organization, the IFPI's reach is considerable. New targets, which until now appeared immune, include Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Poland. These nations have often been declared piracy hot spots, with little or no enforcement against alleged digital piracy.

Another first is the IFPI's assertion that parents are bearing the brunt of their children's actions. As many US lawsuit recipients can attest, often times account holders are unaware their computers have ever been used for alleged unauthorized file-sharing.

"Many of those on the receiving end of legal action are parents whose children have been illegally file-sharing. They are finding that in many countries they are liable for any activities third parties undertake using their internet connection. In Argentina, one mother made her son sell off his car to pay her back the settlement fee."

The IFPI also specified who exactly is the target of their enforcement action: uploaders. Press releases from other trade organizations have often been unclear on this issue, but the IFPI makes no ambiguities.

"The actions are being taken in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, a combination of criminal and civil suits, are aimed at 'uploaders' - people who have put hundreds or thousands of copyrighted songs onto internet file-sharing networks and offered them to millions of people worldwide without permission from the copyright owners."

Lastly, the IFPI appears to have widened the typically narrow lawsuit bandwidth. The RIAA, the IFPI's US equivalent, has focused primarily on FastTrack (Kazaa.) However with the FastTrack network no longer the premier network it once was, enforcement actions have expanded.

"The industry is targeting uploaders using all the major unauthorized P2P services, including BitTorrent, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, SoulSeek and WinMX."

In fact, FastTrack isn't even mentioned. Today's announcment of over 8,000 enforcement actions is one of the largest to date.

The IFPI appears to have taken an extended approach to their enforcement actions. Instead of the older RIAA approach, which was a monthly campaign involving approximately 700 individuals, the IFPI accumulates a substantial number prior to an official announcement. It's certainly a different approach than the RIAA, but whether the results are any different remains to be seen.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Entertainment Industry :: IFPI
Legal/Courtroom :: Individual Lawsuits

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