French collecting society SCPP is poised to resume its legal action against illegal file-sharers, director general Marc Guez said yesterday (June 28) during its annual press meeting in Paris.

French collecting society SCPP is poised to resume its legal action against illegal file-sharers, director general Marc Guez said yesterday (June 28) during its annual press meeting in Paris.

Between 30 and 50 cases on serial file-sharings are expected to be launched once the copyright bill is integrated into law, which Guez estimates should be completed late August at the earliest.

"While we have left the filing of new civil and penal actions on standby during the parliamentarian debates on copyright, we kept constituting files," he commented.

The parliament's temporary decision last December to introduce a "global license" system for digital music has harmed the nascent online music business in France by spreading the word that online music was "free," Guez added. Some major French download stores reported "disastrous sales" in the days following the contentious vote, he noted. The "global license" was ultimately excluded from the bill.

Meanwhile, Pascal Nègre, SCPP president and Universal Music France chairman/CEO, has expressed optimism on the state of France's digital music business. During the gathering, he commented, "I wouldn't be surprised if 10% of the French market came from digital sales at the end of the year." Digital sales represented roughly 5% of the wholesale market in the first quarter of 2006, trade body SNEP reported in May.

SCPP also reported on Wednesday a 1.8% year-on-year drop in collected rights for 2005 to €59.730 million ($74.84 million), which it attributed to a lack of income from the TV sector. SCPP is entitled to collect such income directly from TV broadcasters following a Nov. 2004 court decision. Prior to that, a dedicated body, the SPRE, was in charge of collecting those rights. Guez says the SCPP and broadcasters have not yet reached an agreement and TV revenues were not collected for 2005. SCPP might consider legal action, he added.

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