German Labels Step Up Lawsuits Against File-Swappers

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Major labels in Germany are now planning to increase the amount of lawsuits issued against file-swappers.

The labels will deliver 1,000 lawsuits monthly, according to recent comments from IFPI Germany CEO Peter Zombik.  “This year, the number of lawsuits will increase markedly,” Zombik told reporters.  The monthly volume will spike about 20 percent, according to historical figures offered by the executive.  “We’ve filed 20,000 cases since 2004, and 10,000 cases in 2006 alone,” Zombik noted.  Fines have varied between €2,000 ($2,645) and €15,000 ($19,840), according to the chief executive, though most are within the range of €3,000 ($3,968).  The German IFPI will pursue both criminal and civil proceedings against the targeted infringers.  The latest announcement comes after years of heavily declining CD sales in the region, a drop that has not been offset by digital sales.  According to the IFPI, sales of physical CDs in Germany have dipped 37.3 percent between 2001 and 2005.