The Ministry of Sound has targeted those it suspects of downloading the label’s music without permission with a round of speculative invoicing letters, marking a crackdown on illegal music file sharing.
Some 2,000 Letters were posted last week by law firm Gallant McMillan on behalf of the label to suspected music downloaders, stating an intention to take them to court unless they pay compensation of £350.
This legal broadside comes in the wake of similar tactics by law firms ACS:Law and Davenport Lyons, which also sent letters demanding anything between £300 and £1,200. However, Davenport Lyons faces an investigation by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority following a complaint lodged at the end of 2008 by consumer group Which? relating to tactics employed by the lawyers.
A Ministry of Sound spokesman insisted to the Guardian newspaper that it is serious about bringing individuals to court, pointing out that actions have been won in German courts. The label is confident that it can do the same in the UK.
However, some solicitors say the warnings are for the most part unenforceable, maintaining that unless a user confesses to downloading a file illegally, or a court order is obtained to seize a computer and the file is located on its hard drive, no other evidence would likely be valid in court.