UK file sharers are playing Russian roulette with their finances as the music industry here continues to litigate against them.
The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) this morning was granted a High Court order that forces six UK internet service providers (ISPs) to disclose the names and addresses of 31 individuals alleged to have uploaded large numbers of music files on to peer-to-peer filesharing networks.
This follows BPI's announcement earlier this month that it has reached an out-of-court settlement in 23 of 26 cases it launched in October 2004. Some of these cases were settled by worried parents of children who had been file sharing songs.
BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor said: "Today's result is a blow for illegal uploaders who believe that the law simply does not apply to them."
The order for disclosure means the ISPs have 14 days to disclose the names and addresses of the 31 alleged file sharers to the BPI.
The BPI will then write to those individuals concerned, setting out the details of their infringements and offering them the opportunity to settle the case before proceedings are issued.
Taylor added "We will not simply stand back and allow file sharers to illegally distribute our members' music on the Internet."
With previous settlements amounting to up to £4,000, including situations in which children were sharing music files without their parents knowledge or consent, the vengeful BPI representative warned:
"We would particularly advise parents to check what their children are doing on the internet and make sure that they are not breaking the law by filesharing illegally".