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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Anti-music swapping tool launched
Computer user
File-sharing accounts for a large chunk of internet usage
A free software program aimed at preventing illegal internet music and movie file-swapping has been launched by a recording industry group.

The International Federation of Phonographic Industries has released Digital File Check to help people remove unwanted file-sharing programs.

The program is also designed to help firms detect if staff are using work computers for illegal file swapping.

The group said 900m tracks were traded illegally in the six months to June.

Digital File Check also helps users delete copyrighted music and video files from the "shared folders" of computers.

The program is being released online and on CD in eight European countries including the UK.

Possible fines

IFPI chairman John Kennedy said the program was an educational tool aimed at "making life easier for people who want to enjoy music responsibly and legally on the internet".

"This initiative comes at a time when downloading music legally has never been easier, with over 350 sites offering over a million tracks," he said.

In a separate move, the IFPI is sending out a new copyright guide to IT managers at the UK's biggest employers to encourage them to ensure that their computer networks are not used for illegal activity.

Person at a computer
File-sharing is an efficient way to distribute large files to people

The guide is backed by record companies' group the International Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association and the International Video Federation.

Guides will be sent out to businesses in eight other countries, including Sweden and Thailand.

Warning letters

Meanwhile, two file-sharing networks appear to have responded to a "cease and desist" letter sent out by Recording Industry Association of America.

File-sharing site WinMX.com appears to have ceased operating and the New York office of another, eDonkey.com, is reported to have closed.

Both firms were believed to be among the seven undisclosed recipients sent letters by the RIAA last week.

The RIAA letters were sent out after the US Supreme Court ruled in June that anyone who distributed a device used to infringe copyright would be liable for resulting acts of infringement by others.


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