RIAA files 750 new file-trading lawsuits

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on Thursday announced it has filed 750 new lawsuits against alleged file-traders using peer-to-peer (P-to-P) software.

The 750 new lawsuits were against "John Doe" defendants not yet identified by the RIAA. In addition to those new lawsuits, the RIAA filed another 213 lawsuits against named defendants who declined or ignored RIAA efforts to settle their cases.

Among the 750 new lawsuits were 25 P-to-P users on 13 university campuses. The lawsuits were filed against users of P-to-P software such as Kazaa, Grokster and LimeWire.

The new round of RIAA lawsuits follow 762 lawsuits filed Sept. 30. The RIAA has filed more than 6,200 lawsuits against alleged file-traders since September 2003.

RIAA estimates that 58 million music tracks have been downloaded from a licensed music service in the first half of 2004. "In order for legitimate services to continue their growth, we cannot ignore those who take and distribute music illegally," Cary Sherman, RIAA's president, said in a statement. "There must be consequences to breaking the law or illegal downloading will cripple the music community's ability to support itself now or invest in the future."

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Grant Gross

IDG News Service

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