The lawsuits are far-reaching, spanning 17 countries, including Mexico, Brazil and Poland where such lawsuits were previously only an old wive's tale. Over a billion tracks had been illegally downloaded last year, according to the IFPI, while record company revenues have nearly halved since the year 2000.
Indeed, the list of targeted countries is a long 'un: Argentina, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore and Switzerland are all on the blacklist. According to the IFPI, the average case settlement is around $3,000. Some may say it's a bit of a steep price, but not the IFPI chairman John Kennedy, who says there's absolutely "no excuse" for filesharing.
One mother in Argentina had to make her son sell his car to pay back the settlement fee.
"Consumers today can get music legally in ways that were unimaginable a few years ago," says John Kennedy. "In each of the 17 countries involved in today's actions there are legal music services available to consumers."
The IFPI has recently launched a massive "education" campaign to convince would-be music pirates to stop illegally downloading music.
Research from Lingnan University in Hong Kong says that about a third of parents have told their children not to download illegally over the last year. 67% of people in Hong Kong said that legal action is a great way to reduce illegal p2p file sharing. Not to mention, it brings families together as they struggle to pay off their massive settlement fees and scout around for things they can sell. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ