The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today filed 762 new lawsuits against alleged file traders using peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file sharing services. The total number of such lawsuits filed since September 2003 now exceeds 5500.
Thirty-two people at 26 U.S. universities who allegedly used their university networks to distribute music files on P-to-P networks were among defendants in the new lawsuits filed Thursday. However, the defendants are unnamed. The RIAA filed 744 such lawsuits in late August.
In December 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the RIAA does not have the authority under U.S. law to subpoena the names of alleged P-to-P file traders from Internet service providers.
Other Defendants Named
In addition to the so-called "John Doe" lawsuits announced this week, the RIAA last week brought lawsuits against 68 named defendants. Those defendants are people whom the RIAA earlier sued but who declined or ignored an RIAA offer to settle their cases.
The lawsuits against university network users are intended to drive home the message to students that unauthorized downloading has consequences, according to RIAA President Cary Sherman in a statement. "We want music fans to enjoy music online, but in a fashion that compensates everyone who worked to create that music," Sherman says.
Among the universities involved in the latest round of lawsuits are Colgate University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, Kent State University, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, Stanford University, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Louisville.
The RIAA has now filed 5541 lawsuits against alleged music-file uploaders since September 2003.