After taking legal action, IFPI has now reached a settlement with the operators of several cyberlocker hosting sites. Under the agreement, the owners of the sites will pay IFPI around $50,000 in compensation. They will also hand over their domain names to the music industry group so they cannot be used for infringement in future.
File-hosting sites, or cyberlockers as they are often referred to these days, are a growing phenomenon. Millions of people use sites like Rapidshare every day for convenient online hosting of their own data, but of course, many use these types of site for storing and sharing copyrighted music and movies.
Although this activity is illegal in most countries around the world, the operators of hosting sites usually stay clear of trouble due to their ignorance of what resides on their own servers and complying with issued takedown notices, but many tread a very fine line in respect of the law.
Since music is becoming the most popular material shared via these type of sites, IFPI naturally keeps a close watch on this growing area of file-sharing. One company that attracted their eye is the Israel-based Dishi Group, whose websites hosted links to copyrighted material hosted on cyberlocker sites, mainly in The Netherlands.
IFPI took legal action against the owners of ten websites, all connected with Dishi Group. Now it appears a settlement agreement between the parties has been reached at the Petah Tikva District Court.
Niv Lilien, Technology Editor at Ynet, Israel’s largest news website, told TorrentFreak that not only will Dishi group have to pay $50,000 compensation to IFPI, but also hand over domains involved in the case (including dishi.info, ringme.be, ringme.co.il, dishimix.fm and pazz.co.il) to the music industry group.
IFPI described the scope of the settlement as “unprecedented” with the court issuing permanent injunctions preventing the defendants from “copying, distributing, linking or ripping onto MP3 or other formats any copyright infringing repertoire.”
As illustrated by the survey recently commissioned by the BPI, the international music industry clearly sees the cyberlocker issue – and sites that link to them – as a growing threat. Expect more IFPI action and associated rhetoric directed at these services in 2010.