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Business News (more headlines) 05-08-2003

Police Act Against Music File-Swapping In Germany

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Police in Germany have launched the first action against music file-swapping, raiding the premises of a suspect in Fürth, southern Germany, who was allegedly operating a peer-to-peer (P2P) "OpenNap Napster-clone" server and distributing music files to thousands of users.

It is alleged that more than one million music files - equivalent to tens of thousands of albums - were offered among some 3,000 individual users over a period of several weeks. The individual himself allegedly was distributing such files through the server.

The action followed a report made to the prosecutor's office by IFPI Germany which represents around 400 record companies. During the raids, launched in April police seized six computers and other evidence.

Jay Berman, chief executive and chairman of IFPI said: "This is an important step by Germany, coming at a time of intense activity by our industry to provide legitimate on-line music services. We are determined to hold to account those who knowingly distribute copyrighted works on the internet without authorization. Their actions are hurting everyone in the creative chain, and they are making it difficult for legitimate on-line services to compete"

If prosecuted, this case could lead to imprisonment or fines for copyright infringement. Further civil proceedings could follow.

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