Legal action is being taken against 28 people in the UK for illegally swapping music over the internet, the British Phonographic Industry announced today.
Today's action is the first of its kind in the UK - legal action has already been taken in the US.
The BPI, the UK's record industry's trade association, announced that it was targeting "major up-loaders", the people who make their music collections available on the internet, illegally, for other web users to share.
BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said: "We have been warning for months that unauthorised file sharing is illegal.
"These are not people casually downloading the odd track. They are up-loading music on a massive scale, effectively stealing the livelihood of thousands of artists and the people who invest in them."
The record industry said UK single sales have more than halved since 1999, when downloading took off on the internet.Reuse content