M&E specialist is the first UK business to be investigated for music piracy

Wembley M&E contractor Honeywell is being investigated by the police after allegations that there was an illegal music file-sharing network at one of its British offices.

Strathclyde Police served a warrant on the company’s Motherwell premises at the end of last week.

Thousands of music files are thought to have been shared on the company’s servers.

The raid follows a two-month investigation into alleged music file sharing at Honeywell, which began after a company employee tipped off the BPI, the trade association for the British music industry. A number of workers are reported to be assisting the police with their inquiries.

The investigators have made copies of the contents of computers for forensic analysis.

This is the first time a UK business has been raided in pursuit of illegal file sharing. Previous raids have concentrated on private individuals.

It is illegal to copy and distribute songs on an internal company network but no company has yet been prosecuted for these activities taking place on its premises.

The BPI said a conviction for piracy offences opens company directors up to unlimited fines and up to 10 years in prison.

A Honeywell spokesman said the company had policies in place to prevent piracy. She said: “Honeywell considers copyright infringement a very serious matter and has rigorous policies to prevent activity taking place on its premises.”

Last month, Honeywell issued a £33m writ against Wembley contractor Multiplex claiming damages and breach of contract.