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Appeared on: Friday, March 04, 2005
Music industry 'nails UK pirates'

The UK music industry has claimed victory in its first battle with illegal file-sharers after 23 people paid 50,000 to settle out of court.

The UK internet users, ranging from a student to a local councillor, have admitted putting up to 9,000 songs each on the web for other fans to download. "These settlements show we can and we will enforce the law," the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said. The BPI has launched a second wave of cases, pursuing 31 more file-sharers.

BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor said: "We are determined to find people who illegally distribute music, whichever peer-to-peer network they use, and to make them compensate the artists and labels they are stealing from." From the first wave, 17 men and six women aged between 22 and 58 have signed High Court undertakings admitting they illegally shared files and promising not to do it again, the BPI said. The average compensation payment was 2,200 each, with one person paying 4,500.

Fifteen of the 23 used the Kazaa peer-to-peer network, four used Imesh, two used Grokster, one used WinMix and one was on BearShare.

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