Labels' trade group, the British Phonographic Industry, has for the first time lodged formal proceedings against illegal uploaders of digital music.

LONDON -- Labels' trade group, the British Phonographic Industry, has for the first time lodged formal proceedings against illegal uploaders of digital music.

High Court proceedings were commenced Aug. 1 against five individuals as the trade group steps up its fight against significant distributors of illegal music online.

According to the BPI, the five file sharers -- three men and two women -- between them made 8,906 titles illegally available to download. Through the individuals' activities, millions of files have been illicitly shared online, the BPI says. Compensation and costs are being sought on behalf of the BPI members whose works have been infringed.

"We have tried to agree to fair settlements, but if people refuse to deal with the evidence against them, then the law must take its course," explains BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor in a statement.

All five cases were the subject of a March court order requiring Internet service providers to identify those account-holders who had been involved in illegal file-sharing.

To date, 60 British computer users have settled legal claims against them for illegal file-sharing. Compensation in each case has reached up to £6,500 ($11,400).