Rome, Italy (February 22, 2005)–An Italian DJ has been fined a record €1.4 million for using hundreds of pirate music files in a well-known local nightclub near Rome. The DJ was discovered 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 fine to be imposed on an individual in Europe to date for the unlawful copying and use of copyrighted music in the MP3 format (the fine is subject to administrative recourse). The DJ may be subject to further criminal sanctions.
Enzo Mazza, director of the Italian recording industry association (FIMI), said, “We are pleased with the fine imposed by the Rieti Fiscal police. 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. We hope this precedent will serve as a deterrent for those who are thinking of doing the same.”
The operation, targeting radio stations and clubs around the region, was led by the Fiscal Police. In addition to the mp3s and music video clips found, a large quantity of audiovisual material and software were also seized.