The German music industry has filed thousads of lawsuits against P2P users. Separately, some game softare makers sued tens of thousands of suspected file sharing users in Germany. This huge wave of lawsuits is starting to take its toll on the German legal system, heise.de reports.

The State Attorney General of Northrhine Westfalia Roswitha Müller-Piepenkötter now said that taxpayers have to pay millions to ISPs alone in order to get the information necessary for these lawsuits. In Germany an ISP can bill law enforcement officials for the work that is necessary to find the corresponding personal data connected to an IP address at a given time.

Usually these fees are in the range of 35 to 40 Euro (about 45 to 50 USD). But since rights holders sometimes sue tens of thousands of users at the same time, the total costs are in the hundreds of thousands per single enforcement action.

German righs holders use criminal lawsuits against unnamed defendants to get ISPs to reveal the identity of file sharers. Once the music industry has the names of the alleged sinners they start another civil lawsuit - only to settle it soon after against the payment of a few thousand Euros.

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