UK file sharers - watch out!

It looks like the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is moving against alleged file sharers in the UK, as reports suggest that FAST has formally asked no less than 10 ISPs for personal details of around 150 Internet users.

The move appears to be a pre-cursor to possible legal action, although I suspect that FAST will offer the users the chance to settle out of court for a few shekels.

The move will worry a lot of Internet users, I suspect, although - from what I have discovered - students at university aren't that bothered, as they haven't got much in the way of money anyway.

This is highly ironic, as students appear to be the biggest downloaders of music and films, mainly because they can't afford the cost of buying CDs and movies in the first place.

Unconfirmed sources suggest that the initial batch of 150 file sharers are mainly users who have been sharing files like mad, and are regarded by FAST as (a) soft targets and (b) test cases.

If I were FAST, I'd probably target non-students in my first batch of prosecutions, for the simple reason that, if they have dosh, they will settle out of court.

My own view is that FAST will need to selective and handle its initial batch of UK prosecutions very carefully indeed. If it doesn't, then a PR disaster, as has happened with the RIAA in the US, could happen.

And wouldn't that be a crying shame?...