The BPI has won a landmark court case against two men who had been sharing thousands of gongs illegally using peer to peer systems. Pleading ignorance won no favours from the judge who handed down fines of £1,500 and £5,000, which could rise further still. This is the first time that there has been a successful prosecution in the UK.

BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said, “The courts have spoken and their verdict is unequivocal: unauthorised filesharing is against the law. We have long said that unauthorised filesharing is damaging the music industry and stealing the future of artists and the people who invest in them. Here is clear confirmation of what we also said – that unauthorised filesharing is illegal.”

The money is irrelevent but the subsequent publicity could be priceless for the BPI.

A further raft of cases could be on the way In Ireland as the courts are asking ISPs to reveal details of susbcribers who are suspected of sharing music files.