A German network technician faces criminal prosecution and a five-figure damages bill for allegedly running the country's biggest offering of illegal music downloads.

HAMBURG -- A German network technician faces criminal prosecution and a five-figure damages bill for allegedly running the country's biggest offering of illegal music downloads.

Nuremberg local police arrested the 56-year-old man earlier this month. It is alleged that he was responsible for the "Lupodata" server, which contained an estimated 60,000 unauthorized music files.

Two PCs with a total of 12 hard drives were seized in the operation. Police confiscated roughly 4,000 digitized albums by such artists as Celine Dion, Joe Cocker, Norah Jones, Phil Collins, Santana and David Bowie.

The server was configured to use the File Transfer Protocol, which allows large volumes of data to be transmitted.

"Anyone offering music content for downloading by third parties is acting in contravention of the law," says Gerd Gebhardt, chairman of German labels body BPW.