The Brazilian Recording Companies Association (ABPD), which represents the main recording companies in Brazil, is following the US example and went to court this Tuesday, October 17, against 20 people they say have been illegally downloading music from the Internet.
The ABPD in its first drive against individuals is targeting people who were making available between 3,000 and 5,000 songs in their personal computers.
According to the association, music piracy in Brazil represents a yearly market of 115 million CDs. The Brazilian recording industry sells less than half of that amount: 55 million CDs a year.
Paulo Rosa, the ABPD director, says that the aim of the new effort is to educate children and their parents about the seriousness of getting music for free through digital piracy, which most people don’t consider a crime. The cases against those illegal downloaders have been filed in a civil court.
Yesterday, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) also announced that it is starting a new batch of 8,000 lawsuits in 17 countries, including Brazil, Mexico and Poland, against alleged participants in illegal downloads of music.
According to IFPI estimates, Brazilians alone have downloaded more than one billion songs from the Internet in 2005. The federation says that recording companies in Brazil, Latin America’s largest phonographic market, had their earnings cut in half since 2000 due to digital piracy.
IFPI also believes that every year 20 billion songs are being downloaded all around the world from peer-to-peer file sharing services like Kazaa, Morpheus, LimeWire and E-mule.