Lawyers for UK dance music label Ministry of Sound have issued thousands of letters to British filesharers this month demanding compensation for alleged copyright theft.

The letters threaten recipients with immediate court action unless they pay immediate compensation in the region of £350.

Speculative invoicing?

London-based music IP lawyers Gallant Macmillan – a company that claims to be a 'leader in media and litigation' – mailed out 2,000 letters to Brits earlier this month claiming infringement of its client Ministry of Sound's copyright by downloading and sharing MoS albums online.

Another British legal firm ACS:Law has also sent out thousands of similarly threatening letters to Brits recently, requesting instant payment or the instigation of court action against the recipient of the letter.

The Guardian quotes Luke Bellamy, one of the alleged file sharers in question that received a letter from ACS: Law asking for an instant payment of £295 in return for downloading and sharing a tune by Cascada.

"Getting a letter like this is extremely worrying," Bellamy said. "I have never downloaded anything from this website and yet I am being chased for this money. My parents have been worried by this, and frankly I've got better things to do with my time than deal with this."

Michael Coyle, solicitor advocate and MD of Southampton-based law Lawdit is going so far as to offer to defend anyone that receives such letters from IP lawyers in court for free. Providing they genuinely didn't download and share the copyrighted material in question, that is!

Deborah Prince, head of legal affairs at Which? says: "Which? believes it is outrageous that ACS:Law is asking consumers to provide evidence to support the claims that it is making on their clients' behalf. It should have all the evidence it needs before making these allegations. If it doesn't, then it shouldn't be asking unrepresented consumers to provide that evidence."

Via The Guardian