A Polish mother of two has been told to pay more than £16,000 in a ruling that could possibly spell the end of the judicial system's apparent leniency towards online file sharers.
Isabella Barwinska is the first person to be successfully prosecuted by computer game developers and the first to be ordered to pay the damage costs - more than £6000 and £10000 to Topware Interactive, who developed Dream Pinball 3D, one of the many applications and movies that the 32-year old woman was illegally sharing.
She was given 25 days to pay the bill by the Patents County Court or face further prosecution; The US-based computer company used the services of Swiss forensic computer investigators Logistep AG, whose solutions track down IP addresses of Filesharers and ultimately their real identities.
Davenport Lyons, acting on behalf of Topware Interactive, has launched civil proceedings against a further 100 internet users who shared Topware Interactive games online and said that hundreds of other Britons have already been identified as potential illegal filesharers which could lead to further crackdowns.
Millions of internet users regularly share files illegally using applications like Bit-Torrent, Emule or Azureus prompting copyright holders to call upon the government to broker an agreement with the ISPs to curb online piracy.