RIAA Files 477 More Suits

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

Fourteen universities across the U.S. were home to those 69 file-traders, according to the RIAA. The RIAA will continue to work with universities to educate students about legal music download services, says RIIA President Cary Sherman in a statement.

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

Strategy Shifts

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 IP addresses.

In December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled the RIAA does not have authority under U.S. law to subpoena the names of alleged peer-to-peer file traders from ISPs. 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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