File-sharing Brits come under fire from Ministry of Sound

Digital Music, Intellectual Property, Tech Digest news

ministry-of-sound thumb.jpgUK dance music label Ministry of Sound have issued letters to thousands of UK based file-sharers, demanding compensation for copyright theft, or else have the accused face further legal action.

As many as 2,000 people are thought to have been recipients of the letters from intellectual property lawyers Gallant Macmillan, asking for as much as £350 from those believed to have downloaded and shared Ministry of Sound albums over the web illegally.

However, many of the recipients are protesting that they are innocent, oblivious to the accusations being levelled at them. Speaking to the Guardian was Luke Bellamy, who recently was asked by the label for compensation.

“Getting a letter like this is extremely worrying,” Bellamy said. “I have never downloaded anything from this website and yet I am being chased for this money. My parents have been worried by this, and frankly I’ve got better things to do with my time than deal with this.”

Steve Purdham, CEO of music steaming website we7, believes it very difficult to identify the core, harmful file-sharers in cases like this: “This is a move which is directed at protecting the media industry and copyright law, while it’s very important that the music industry has a legal and enforceable method to deter and convict copyright infringers, we have to realise that with technologies such as spoofing and zombies (where a person’s machine is effectively used without their knowledge) it is still exceptionally difficult to enforce the current legal approach.

“File-sharing sites have risen in the gulf between what consumers wanted and what has been available. Internet users don’t want to use p2p networks; most are far from intuitive, full of sub-standard products and leave users’ computers open to attack and infection.[…] At we7, we believe most people want to support the music they care about and we think with the rise of legitimate services the momentum is going in the right direction”.

Have you received a letter from the Ministry of Sound? Were you file-sharing or have you been wrongly singled out? Let us know.

Via: The Guardian

Gerald Lynch
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