The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is warning that parents who give their children digital music players for Christmas face being hit by hefty fines if their kids download pirate tracks illegally. According to research released today, almost half of the music currently being listened to in digital players will be downloaded from sites that breach copyright laws. The BPI is warning parents to make sure that their kids use their players legally.

A spokesman from the BPI told Times Online: "We expect MP3 players to be a very popular gift this Christmas. It is essential that parents acquire the knowledge to make sure their children stay the right side of the law when they go online to get music to play on them

"The basic rule of thumb is that if something looks to good to be true, it is. Don’t use sites that offer thousands of tracks for free."