The German branch of the music industry association IFPI pans to increase their lawsuits against P2P users by 20 percent next year. IFPI Germany CEO Peter Zombik told reporters that his association has sued 20.000 file sharing users since early 2004. Next year the plan to sue 1000 P2P users per month.

The German music industry has been very aggressive in pursuing P2P users. Criminal lawsuits are used as a tool to reveal the identity of suscpected file sharers. Once the industry knows their names, file sharers get slapped by an additional civil suit, which usually ends with an out of court settlement. The average settlement amount is 3000 Euro (about 4000 US dollars).

The mass persecution doesn't seem to have any lasting impact on the popularity of file sharing in Germany. Traffic management company Ipoque estimates that at nighttime 70 percent of overall internet traffic is caused by P2P applications. About 53 percent of that traffic is caused by Bittorrent. Emule, which has been traditionally strong in Germany, accounts for 43 percent.



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