Where do the huge EU fines go?

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In the aftermath of the EU versus Microsoft decision, you'd expect Microsoft's rivals to be looking at a huge payday. But while the EU found that Microsoft's actions did indeed harm its rivals, it has no intention of giving them any cash. When Microsoft pays the fine, the money goes straight into the European Union's central budget.

It's a similar story with actions taken by industry organisations on behalf of their members. According to the New York Post, while the recording Industry Association of America has netted hundreds of millions of dollars in cases against file sharers and file sharing networks, the money has yet to filter down to the artists. An unnamed industry source says record companies are telling artists there's not much money left after legal fees - and even if there is some left, artists might not be entitled to it.

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