More than 900 internet file-sharers were threatened with legal action on Tuesday as the global music industry stepped up its anti-piracy war.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced it was launching 963 new actions in 11 countries in Europe and Asia. It brings the number of cases against internet users accused of illegally uploading music to 11,552 worldwide.
Currently 90 internet users have faced or are facing legal action in the UK.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said on Tuesday it was proceeding against 33 UK internet users accused of illegally uploading music to the web. The UK recording industry first announced legal action against 26 file-sharers in October 2004. Those cases have now been settled, with defendants paying more than £50,000 in compensation.
The BPI announced it was taking action against a further 31 internet users on 4 March. These filesharers are being contacted this week following the disclosure of their identities by internet service providers.
The UK record companies' trade association said it would go to the High Court next week to seek disclosure of the identities of the 33 new cases. All are alleged to have used peer-to-peer applications such as Kazaa and BearShare to upload music files illegally.
"We have warned people time and time again that unauthorised file-sharing is against the law," said BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor. "Anyone who is engaged in this activity faces having to pay thousands of pounds in compensation."
The 963 new cases announced by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) represent the music business's biggest round of legal actions to date.