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France jails internet music pirate

Published on 02/02/2004

PARIS, Feb 2 (AFP) - A Paris court has sentenced a Frenchman who illegally sold CDs made up of songs he downloaded off the Internet to six months in jail and fined him EUR 1,000 (USD 1,250).

 Bruno Dugas, 38, was found guilty of breaking copyright by setting up his web-based business, in which he offered to sell CDs containing MP3 files of songs obtained from free peer-to-peer sites.

His fine was to go to the SPPF, a French body representing music producers and studios, according to the verdict handed down January 28. He was also ordered to publicise the judgement in two newspapers.

European music companies are following their US counterparts in cracking down on music file-swapping on the Internet.

They complain that the illegal practice, facilitated by sites such as Gnutella and Kazaa, is eating into their profits and threatens artists’ livelihoods.

So far, legal action in Europe has been limited to prosecuting people who have tried to make money off the trend, but recording companies have warned that home users adding to their own and others’ personal music collections could be next, as is already happening in the United States.


                                                              Subject: France news