IFPI Acts Against German Parson

Although it hasn’t named names or said where the accused tends his or her proverbial flock, the thousands of new cases the IFPI is bringing against illegal file-sharers includes one against a German parson.

According to the organisation’s October 17th statement, it’s also taking a Finnish lab assistant to court, although he or she is being afforded the same anonymity as the man (or woman) of the cloth.

Both are examples of what the IFPI describes as the “wide variety of people” on the receiving end of the 8,000 new cases it’s bringing across 17 countries.

They’re part of the recording industry’s efforts to step up its campaign to deter copyright theft and promote legitimate acquisition of music online.

The latest raft of actions include the first cases brought in South America and Eastern Europe, the two biggest illegal file-sharing markets. A total of more than 13,000 legal actions have now been taken outside the United States.

The current cases have been extended to Brazil, where more than 1 billion music tracks were illegally downloaded last year and where record company revenues have nearly halved since 2000. Mexico and Poland are also seeing actions for the first time.

More than 2,300 people have already been convicted of illegally file-sharing copyrighted material, with the average legal settlement being about £2,420.

Many of those on the receiving end of legal action are parents whose children have shared files illegally. They are finding that in many countries, they are liable for any activities third parties undertake using their Internet connection.

In Argentina, one mother reportedly made her son sell off his car to pay her back the settlement fee.

– John Gammon