The music industry yesterday launched the first wave of international lawsuits against web pirates as it warned that global record sales fell an estimated 7% last year. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said legal actions had been brought against habitual users of illegal internet services in Italy, Germany, Denmark and Canada. Jay Berman, the chairman of the global music industry body, said similar lawsuits were “likely” in the UK if consumers failed to respond to repeated warnings from the British Phonographic Industry body.
The latest round of lawsuits follows similar action against more than 2,000 consumers in the United States over the past year. Criminal and civil proceedings have been brought against 247 internet users who break copyright laws by making hundreds, and in one case 54,000, files available over the web for fans to download.