A "well known" Italian DJ has been ordered to cough up Europe's biggest fine ever for music downloading after being found in possession of and using thousands of illegally copied music files.
The DJ must pay a record €1.4m ($1.8m), the Italian financial police have ruled. He also faces criminal prosecution, law enforcement officials said.
The fine follows a raid mounted by Italian police earlier this week on a popular nightclub in Rieti, a town between Rome and Assisi. During the investigation, officers seized over 2,000 MP3 files and 500 music videos.
FIMI, the Italian equivalent of the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA), welcomed the whopping fine. "We hope this precedent will serve as a deterrent for those who are thinking of doing the same," said FIMI director Enzo Mazza.
"This DJ was touring clubs and making money out of the music he played - while those who had invested time, talent, hard work and money into creating the music in the first place did not get a cent," he added.
Earlier this month, a French teacher was fined €10,200 for illegally sharing music files - the first prosecution in France for unauthorised file sharing using a P2P network.
To date, the RIAA has issued lawsuits against more than 8,500 named and unnamed individuals in the US, all alleged to have illegally distributed music files using P2P software. ®
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