posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:03 PM
After recent conflicting reports that online file-swapping was either
the Recording Industry Association of America launched round two of their bout against music piracy today. Things are a little different this time
The RIAA's legal tirade against file sharers, including grandparents and children, hit a snag recently when a federal appeals court ruled that the
group could not force internet providers to release the names of suspected sharers with the DMCA.
To counter, the RIAA today filed "John Doe" lawsuits, 532 of them to be exact, in DC and New York. The defendants are only identified by their IP
address in the lawsuits. Once filed, the RIAA may then issue a separate subpoena based on the IP addresses to attempt to find the identity of the
people who don't know they're being sued yet.
This new tactic will mean a longer and more intensive legal process; the increased cost to the RIAA will be passed along to anyone sucessfully sued in
higher settlement amounts. Previous settlements reached under the DMCA subpoena process averaged $3000.
The John Doe lawsuit claims that the defendants are sharing greater than 800 songs each. Fines for copyright infringement can be as large as $150,000