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Pirates beware! There’s an international crackdown on those who download music, movies and software illegally, however jail terms, laws, and court action will not deter people from doing this.

In South Korea, the music industry is turning the tables on Internet users that swap music illegally. Complaints filed against 2700 users, was launched by Nofree, a South Korean copyright protection firm that represents around 60 domestic music companies.
Taking its cue from the US Supreme courts ruling that networks such as Grokster may be held liable for infringement if they made unauthorised copies of copyrighted songs and other content, Nofree asked state prosecutors to punish NHN Corp, one of the country’s biggest Internet portal operator and its users for illegally swapping digital music files.
This marked the country’s first legal action against a P2P program that allows users to access computer files directly from each other’s hard disk drives.
While the FBI has raided suspect Internet pirates across 11 countries. The search and seizure operation netted copyrighted material worth US$50 million dollars and has led to seven arrests. US customs and Immigration enforcements say that 95 per cent of the copyrighted material that ends up on file-sharing network organisations came from this group.
Obviously the risk for pirating is getting higher, the chance of an ordinary citizen getting a jail sentence for downloading from a file-sharing network makes obtaining free music, movies or software not worth it. However people are still doing and even with the tough sentences they are willing to take a chance.
According to Tim Sheedy, Research Director, Software and Services, IDC believes the Internet is just another distribution, as long as the entertainment industry ignores it as such, people will keep on doing what they do, regardless of laws and court threats.
“It’s human nature to go to the cheapest way possible of obtaining a desired a product -usually that ms getting it for free. Right now there are illegal choices available for people to obtain say the latest movie. People feel relatively protected and feel safe until a regulatory body takes action.”
According to Sheedy, if Australia had services like iTunes then it might help in the fight against pirating music.
“Users in the US no longer have to go somewhere like Grokster, wait to download their favourite song, then find out it’s the wrong song. Now users can pay around $1.50 for a song and get the one they want.”
Sheedy feels if more of the entertainment industry embraces the idea that the Internet is new distribution method then the industry will see a tailoring off of illegal swapping of content.
“For me part o the problem is the movie and music industry’s reluctance to embrace the Internet. Studios need to monitor what’s going and change their attitudes, because court cases won’t deter people from illegally downloading entertainment.”

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