Japanese record labels have filed a suit demanding three Japanese Internet service providers disclose the names and addresses of 19 individuals who the plaintiffs claim infringed copyright by using the file-exchanging software WinMX to post music on the Net.
About 1.3 million people use file-exchanging software to exchange hit songs via the Internet for free, according to the Tokyo-based Recording Industry Association of Japan, to which all the 14 record labels belong.
The record labels, which filed the suit with the Tokyo District Court, have found IP addresses of the 19 people by checking access logs to websites where songs have been posted.
Invoking the law on the liability of Internet service providers, they then asked 11 providers over a three-month period from December to February to disclose personal information on 38 individuals.
However, only eight people's personal information was disclosed.
The service providers that have refused to disclose personal information on their clients say disclosure would require a court order as it involves matters of individual privacy.
In a similar suit, the court ruled in June last year that Internet service providers must disclose the names and addresses of individuals who posted songs on the Internet.