A British High Court on April 19 granted an order requiring five Internet service providers to disclose the identities of 33 individuals who are suspected of having illegally distributed music files o
A British High Court on April 19 granted an order requiring five Internet service providers to disclose the identities of 33 individuals who are suspected of having illegally distributed music files on peer-to-peer filesharing networks.
The court decision follows requests from the British Phonographic Industry. The trade group believes that the individuals concerned have uploaded more than 72,000 music files.
According to the court order, the ISPs have two weeks to provide the BPI with the identities of the file-sharers. When the process is completed, the number of people in the U.K. to face legal action for illegal file-sharing will go up to 90.
The BPI says the individuals will face claims for compensation and the legal costs in pursuing them. "This court order should remind every user of a peer-to-peer file-sharing service in Britain that they are not anonymous," BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor says.
The BPI, which settled a first round of 26 cases in March, revealed that an additional 31 people have been identified and are now facing legal action. The BPI says one-third of them are thought to be parents whose Internet accounts were used by their children to upload music illegally.
A study by research group TNS estimates that illegal downloading has cost the British industry £650 million ($1.23 billion) in the past two years from lost sales. "Although the legal downloads business is growing at an impressive rate -- it does not even begin to offset the damage done by illegal filesharing," BPI executive chairman Peter Jamieson says.