Following Tuesday's news
that 7,500 people who illegally pirated music by Lacuna Coil
and Iced Earth
will be sued by their label Century Media
, the lawsuit has been posted online.
While the lawsuit does not identify the fans by name, their IP addresses have been logged and could be used to find out their names and addresses so the label can issue fines - even if they didn't mean to share the material online.
There's a good chance that some UG readers will be affected, so let's explain exactly how some people accidentally shared music without realising.
Music that is 'torrented' is essentially downloaded straight from other people's computers around the world, rather than from a 'server' which is where online files are usually stored. When you complete the torrent download, it continues 'seeding' (where other people download the album from you).
The problem is, many people don't realise that they're technically sharing the music to other people, and that the IP address is publicly available while they do so.
What will happen next? It seems that the label will try to convince the court that the people behind these IP addresses need to be identified. If so, the pirates will be sent a letter which could fine them thousands of dollars - unless they want to fight the charges, but lawyers don't come cheap either.
"It's tough. If you get one of these letters you've been put in a difficult and unfair spot,
" said Rebecca Jeschke
, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation
. "In many of these situations, the goal doesn't seem to be to fight infringement; it seems to be to get settlements. That's where the money-making is.
You can read through the lawsuit here:
Century Media Ltd v Does 1 944 No 12 Cv 3868 (DNJ)
The lesson is, don't pirate music. There are plenty of ways to access music legally and for free. Try Spotify
Of course, you can still support the labels and buy direct from them too - though Century Media could easily face a backlash for taking their fans to court.
Do you know anyone who has been affected? Are Century Media doing the right thing? Let us know your opinion in the comments.