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Publishers to fine 25,000 game pirates

Pay GBP 300 or end up in court.

Five games companies are to demand 25,000 file-sharing internet users to pay GBP 300 immediately or risk going to court.

The users are being targeted for downloading and sharing games illegally, according to The Times.

Atari, Codemasters, Reality Pump, Techland and Topware Interactive have appointed legal brain Davenport Lyons to take action on their behalf.

Operation Flashpoint by Codemasters was apparently downloaded over 691,000 times in one week, according to internet watcher Peerland.

"Our clients were incensed by the level of illegal downloading," said Roger Billens from Peerland.

The quintet make their stand after the successful prosecution Isabella Barwinska, who has been fined GBP 16,000 for uploading and sharing Dream Pinball 3D by Topware.

The group will begin by targeting the first 500 file-sharers to ignore the GBP 300 demand, and have applied to the High Court to demand internet service providers deliver the names and addresses of all 25,000 breaking the law.

According to The Times, 5000 addresses have already been obtained.

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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