The country of Germany was once known as a safe haven for file sharing needs, often taking a very lackadaisical attitude towards pirating. Recent enforcement however has turned the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) against users of the famous eDonkey2000 and eMule file sharing communities. This morning German officials entered the grounds of over 130 different homes of alleged pirates and confiscated personal computers as well as external media in the cities of Cologne and Bergheim.
These raids were administered by the Public Prosecution Service of Cologne and the Police Authority of Bergheim, who apparently had been investigating alleged illegal activities for several months in cooperation with the IFPI.
"I am pleased that the German authorities recognise the serious impact of copyright crime and are taking action against it,” said John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI. “Internet piracy has hurt the whole music community in Germany, with legitimate sales falling by a third in just five years. The victims are investment in music and everyone who makes a livelihood out of the music industry.
According to the IFPI, each of the 3,500 individuals faces both criminal and civil prosecution for distributing unauthorized material online. However considering the scale of the enforcement, many of the 3,500 individuals will likely settle for “several thousand Euros” instead of going to full trial.