RIAA files 477 more file-sharing lawsuits

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed 477 more lawsuits against people trading unauthorised music online, including lawsuits against 69 people who allegedly used university networks to download music.

Fourteen universities across the US were home to those 69 file-traders, according to the RIAA.

The RIAA would continue to work with universities to educate students about legal music download services, according to RIAA president, Cary Sherman.

"Along with offering students legitimate music services, campus-wide educational and technological initiatives are playing a critical role," Sherman said. "But there is also a complementary need for enforcement by copyright owners against the serious offenders - to remind people that this activity is illegal."

The RIAA has filed more than 1500 lawsuits against file-traders since January. As with other recent lawsuits, the RIAA filed "John Doe" lawsuits against unnamed file-traders identified through their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. In December, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the RIAA did not have the authority under US law to subpoena the names of alleged peer-to-peer file traders from ISPs (Internet service providers). Copyright holders previously were allowed to file a subpoena request with a clerk of court and find out the name of an alleged copyright violator without going before a judge to request a subpoena.

The university networks allegedly used in the 69 cases were Brown University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Gonzaga University, Mansfield University, Michigan State University, Princeton University, Sacred Heart University, Texas A&M University, Trinity College in Connecticut, Trinity University in Texas, University of Kansas, University of Minnesota and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Brown University issued a statement reacting to the lawsuits: "Brown University has not yet received notice of the lawsuits announced today by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). If the University is served with a subpoena that meets the requirements of the law,

Brown will comply as fully as possible. Until the University is served, however, it does not know the extent of the RIAA action. Any Brown student found in violation of the law will also be subject to University disciplinary action."

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Grant Gross

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