Illegal File Sharers To Receive Fines

27th November 2009

The entertainment business is one of the highest earning businesses in the world. Everyone loves being entertained somehow, be it by way of films, music or video games and the entertainment business strives on this, bringing them in a humongous income.

With DVDs averaging at £15, CDs at around £10 and video games at £40, customers are struggling to pay for such luxuries, often borrowing them from friends or finding alternative methods of avoiding such hefty costs.

In 2004, there were an estimated 70 million people participating in online file sharing around the world, meaning that the entertainment industry suffered a devastating blow to their income and many musicians and actors struggled to survive in the industry. At my school, it was considered the norm to illegally file share with the majority of people having at least one P2P file sharing software on their computer.

This year, the industry, along with the relevant authorities, decided to prosecute the websites supplying the illegal files. Pirate bay subsequently collapsed with the founders facing lengthy prison sentences and fines amounting to nearly $3million.

Now, it’s the sharers themselves who find themselves in the firing line. Lawyers representing the industry have sent out 15,000 letters to filesharers after being supplier address details by ISP suppliers. If you receive a letter like this, you can expect to pay between £300 and £500 in fines or find yourself in court.

The recent introduction to Spotify, a free for all streaming software, gives those who cannot afford to pay such high prices for their media, a way to listen to their favourite artists whenever they have internet connection. As a ex file sharer myself, I’ve found that having Spotify has completely removed the need for illegally downloading music. The main reason I used to file share was the fact I couldn’t justify paying £10 for an album that I might not even like. I’ve purchased more albums since having Spotify in the last year, than I did since I’ve had internet connection.

What are your views on illegal file sharing? Do you think that these fines are for the best? Or do you think the industry should be more lenient on file sharers?