UK music industry trade association the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is preparing to launch formal court action against five file sharers, while dozens more reach out-of-court settlements.

BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said, "Music fans are increasingly tuning into legal download sites for the choice, value and convenience they offer. But we cannot let illegal file sharers off the hook. They are undermining the legal services, they are damaging music and they are breaking the law."

Civil proceedings began today against five individuals who between them made 8,906 songs available.

BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor said, “So far 60 British internet users have settled legal claims against them for illegal file sharing, paying up to £6,500 in compensation. We have tried to agree fair settlements, but if people refuse to deal with the evidence against them, then the law must take its course. That's why we have had no choice but to take these five individuals to the High Court.

“We will be seeking an injunction and full damages for the losses they have caused, in addition to the considerable legal costs we are incurring as a result of their illegal activity."

The three men and two women live in King’s Lynn, Crawley, Port Talbot, Brighton and South Glamorgan.

All five cases were the subject of a court order on 11 March, requiring ISPs to name the holders of accounts which had been used for illegal file sharing.