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  Could I be sued for downloading music?
Updated 09 September 2003, 11.56
Computer and CD
The record industry in America is suing more than 200 people who've been downloading music from the internet.

We thought you might like to know whether you might get in trouble for downloading music in the UK.

Have I broken the law by downloading music from the internet?
If you've downloaded tracks from sites which are backed by the music industry, like HMV, Virgin and OD2, then you haven't broken the law. You can check if the sites you've been using are legal on

What if I've been swapping files on American sites? Am I in trouble?
No - the American music industry can't take action against people in the UK. But British music bosses can. But right now they aren't planning any court action.

Could I be sued if I only swap a few songs?
In theory, you could. But in the US, the music industry says it's suing file swappers who constantly swap tens of thousands of tracks.

But children can't be sued, can they?
In the US, the record industry says it can sue anyone, including kids. But don't forget, no one's being sued in the UK - at least not yet.

Are there plans to sue anyone in the UK? No. Music industry bosses have said they won't rule out suing users, but that it would be a "last resort". They'd rather educate people and tell them where they can download music legally.

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