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Polish Music Industry Continues Legal Actions Against Illegal File-Sharing
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
2007-05-05
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Music producers represented by the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry (ZPAV) are continuing with legal actions against major file-sharers in P2P services. Between October 2006 and 31 March 2007, ZPAV submitted crime notifications against 267 uploaders who made available a total of over 778,000 illegal music files.

The Polish music industry joined the international campaign against illegal P2P file-sharing in October 2006. The campaign, co-ordinated by the recording industry's international trade body IFPI, aims to deter the illegal distribution of copyrighted music and help promote legitimate use of music on the internet. Since the beginning of the campaign over 20 countries have participated and over 36,000 legal actions have been taken (outside the United States).

At the same time, ZPAV is stepping up its educational activities on internet music among children, young people and adults. The aim is to raise public awareness and broaden knowledge on the issues of intellectual property protection. Joining with the Polish Anti-piracy Coalition, ZPAV has launched the second stage of the "Be Original" education program, which includes direct meetings with students, teachers and parents.

A special presentation focusing on the legal and security risks of using the internet will run for a couple of months in schools all over Poland. The official launch took place on 12 April 2007, during a conference on the protection of intellectual property on the internet, which was co-organized by the Local Education Authority in Kielce and the Swietokrzyskie Teachers' Training Centre.

The industry has also made available software to help people enjoy music and film on their computer safely and legally. Available at ZPAV's website is the free software Digital File Check (DFC), which is a simple tool that helps to find and remove or block unwanted P2P software or unauthorised media files on home computers (see www.ifpi.org/content/section_resources/digital-file-check.html for further information). It is designed for all users, especially parents, who want to encourage their children to enjoy music on the internet in a responsible way.

Illegal file-sharing is causing huge damage to the music industry in Poland. Research commissioned by ZPAV in July 2006 and conducted by Gemius market research agency shows that every week over 5 million tracks are downloaded from P2P networks.

ZPAV, on behalf of its members, chose the route of criminal proceedings due its record of good co-operation with the police in fighting copyright infringements and efficient procedures in promptly responding to copyright theft. As a result of crime notifications submitted, the police conducted numerous raids in which major uploaders were detained and computer equipment secured.

Under Polish law, illegally making files available on the internet constitutes dissemination according to of article116 of the law on copyright and neighbouring rights, and this is subject to a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment.

The industry is also stepping up its actions against P2P music hubs. A hub is the piece of software that enables a P2P user to find out what files other users hold and without which P2P networks could not function.

Two days ago police in Koszalin, assisted by ZPAV and FOTA representatives, carried out a raid at the campus of Technical University, where large quantities of unauthorised music, films and software have been shared on a DC++ hub. A search in the campus premises netted 10 laptops, 60 hard disc drives and the main computer. Three students - hub administrators - were detained. In total 35,000 GB of data were made available on the hub, which corresponds to around 54,000 CDs.

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