Before Hong Kong's music awards last night, the recording industry issued a stern warning to pirates, saying they may be sued for siphoning off millions of dollars a year in lost revenues. The threat was made by the Hong Kong office of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI), hours before it opened the IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Awards. At the awards, Canto-pop stars Alan Tam Wing-lun and Hacken Lee were jointly named last year's best-selling male singers, while Joey Yung Cho-yee was the best-selling female singer. The late Anita Mui Yim-fong's Classic Moments Live was the best-selling album. Uncle Jim, a video of a song written to commemorate late Canto-pop lyric master James Wong Jim, written by friends and performed by Wynners band members, was unveiled at the awards. Taiwanese singing sensation Jay Chou Jie-lun's Qi Li Xiang (Common Jasmine Orange) was the best-selling Putonghua release of the year. Late Canto-pop superstar Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing's compilation Beloved was among the top 10 best-selling Cantonese albums. Twins had three albums on the list. Ricky Fung, chief executive officer of IFPI (Hong Kong Group), said nine countries in North America and Europe have taken legal action against people who uploaded unauthorised music onto the internet for downloading. 'RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has pursued over 5,000 cases and they have all been successful. Most of them settled outside court,' said Mr Fung. The local industry was considering similar actions, he said. Mr Fung said the recording industry's sales had dropped from the peak year of 1989 - with $2.5 billion - to last year's $700 million, due to piracy on the street and on the internet. He denied the increase in music piracy was due to the declining quality of music. 'We rely on golden songs, not just popular music. If the music was no good, why are people spending so much on MP3 players?'