The record industry in France is to sue those who swap songs illegally over the Internet, it has been revealed. The move follows a similar pledge from the British Phonographic Industry last week.

Head of the SNEP (Syndicat National de l'Edition Phonographique) Herve Rony told Reuters: "We will do the same thing in France in the coming weeks or months. Whatever happens, lawsuits against Internet users are inevitable."

Rony said: "The industry's strategy will have two lines of fire: we will not only target individuals pirating music on the Internet, but also focus on a new responsibility for Internet service providers to put in place filters that prevent music pirating taking place."

A law that makes service providers responsible for preventing music piracy is due to come into force soon.

Since broadband Internet access took off from October 2002, record sales in France have fallen over 30 per cent, according to the SNEP.

Music industry trade group the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has launched a first wave of international lawsuits against 247 individuals in Italy, Germany, Denmark and Canada.