Music Industry Files More Lawsuits

Gretchen Gallen
LOS ANGELES – The Recording Industry Association of America continued its prolonged rollout of lawsuits against Internet file-sharers Tuesday, this time tallying up 482 lawsuits against computer users suspected of copyright infringement.

The official trade group for the recording industry started pursuing file-sharers legally in September of 2003 after announcing its plans to do so in June of that same year.

According to a statement issued by the RIAA, lawsuits were filed against 213 "John Doe" defendants in St. Louis, 206 in Washington, D.C., 55 in Denver and six in New Jersey.

The RIAA has openly admitted that part of its legal assault against specific file-sharers, which it says are some of the more egregious offenders of copyright law, has a resounding effect on all other file-sharers. However, statistically, it is not known whether the RIAA's scare tactics against the peer-to-peer world have actually lessened the amount of file trading on sites like Kazaa, Morpheus, and others.

In accordance with a court order, the RIAA was only able to file lawsuits against alleged infringers based on their Internet Protocol addresses. The trade association and its lawyers can later find out the offline identities of the users during the court discovery process.

Tuesday's lawsuits bring the total of people being sued by the RIAA to 3,429. Several hundred of those cases have been settled out of court, and to date, none have gone to trial.