LONDON — An Italian DJ has been fined E1.4 million ($1.8 million) for using thousands of pirate music files in a nightclub near Rome.
The fine is a landmark in the music industry’s battle to get authorities to take piracy seriously and should help the film industry’s fight, at least in Italy.
The unidentified DJ was found with more than 2,000 MP3 music files suspected to be illegal downloads and 500 pirated video clips. The fine, set by the Italian Fiscal Police of Rieti (Rome), is the biggest to be imposed on an individual in Europe for the unlawful copying and use of copyrighted music in the MP3 format.
Although the fine is likely to be appealed, the individual might be subject to further criminal sanctions.
“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,” said Enzo Mazza, director of the Italian Recording Industry Assn. (FIMI). “We hope this precedent will serve as a deterrent for those who are thinking of doing the same.”
The DJ’s arrest followed an operation by the Fiscal Police that targeted radio stations and clubs. A large quantity of audiovisual material and software also was seized.