In what will come as a rather nasty shock to music pirates worldwide, 3500 eDonkey users will be on the receiving end of criminal proceedings after a massive sting operation took place in Germany.
is that users who uploaded large amounts of copyrighted materials were targeted. The users were offering up to 8,000 individual music files and now face fines or potential jail sentences.
John Kennedy, Chairman of IFPI (The European equivalent of the RIAA) was in triumphant mood:
"I am pleased that the German authorities recognise the serious impact of copyright crime and are taking action against it. Internet piracy has hurt the whole music community in Germany, with legitimate sales falling by a third in just five years. The victims are investment in music and everyone who makes a livelihood out of the music industry.
"No one should be surprised that we are stepping up our campaign in this way. The music industry has run numerous education campaigns aimed at audiences from parents to schools and internet users. Most people clearly know that file-sharing without permission is illegal - unfortunately it takes legal actions such as this make a real impact on behaviour. Today, there is every reason for music lovers to download legitimately. There is a huge choice of legal services available to consumers. There is really no excuse for stealing music online."
With increasing internet bandwidth, piracy is now causing major problems for television, movies and games as well as music, and it would seem the only way for the companies to fight back is to target the individuals who are distributing.
In recent months BitTorrent has also come under the controversial limelight, with several lawsuits
being filed against its users
Will this increased vigilance against piracy affect you in anyway? Let us know in the forums.