As part of “Operation Music Box”, the Italian fiscal police have prosecuted forty-six people for uploading very large amounts of copyright infringing material through the Internet. The activity was carried out using eDonkey2000 and Direct Connect software. The investigation led to raids in 13 different provinces, turning up 1.7 million illegal mp3 files and more than 15,000 burnt CD-Rs containing copyright infringing music.
In total, 52 computers, two laptops, 81 external hard drives and 69 internal hard drives were seized. Under Italian law, the uploaders were held liable for more than €3 million in administrative sanctions. “People who upload hundreds or thousands of copyright infringing music tracks onto the Internet are breaking the law. They are stealing the livelihoods of artists, composers and record producers. I am delighted the Guardia di Finanza is holding them accountable for their actions,” said Enzo Mazza, president of FPM.
The trade value of the recording industry in Italy has shrunk from &euro370.1 million in 2003 to €266.2 million in 2007, and this fall has been largely blamed on the widescale availability of illegal MP3 copies.