June 22, 2004 11:19 AM PDT

RIAA takes hundreds more 'John Does' to court

The Recording Industry Association of America launched a new round of lawsuits Tuesday against online music swappers, targeting 482 individuals around the United States.

As with previous rounds of suits filed by the music industry group, the "John Doe" lawsuits come without names attached. The identities of the individuals are expected to come out through a court discovery process.

The new round brings the total number of people sued in the United States for trading music online to 3,429, the RIAA said.

"It's as important as ever that we continue to enforce our rights and ensure that fans enjoy digital music in a fashion that supports the creative process rather than one that robs it of its future," Steven Marks, RIAA's general counsel, said in a statement. "The online marketplace has changed dramatically since we began this campaign."

The RIAA announced its legal campaign against file-swapping individuals a year ago this week. The efforts have seen substantial growth in the public perception of file trading as a potentially illegal activity, but the overall effect on music swapping remains unclear.

The number of users on Kazaa, still the most popular file-swapping network, has declined somewhat over the past year, while showing considerable seasonal fluctuation, according to analysts.

However, the popularity of other online networks--particularly a newer rival called eDonkey--has grown substantially over that time.

Close observers of the networks say file swappers are keenly aware of the lawsuits, however.

"There have been a couple of big impacts from lawsuits," said Marc Morgenstern, CEO of Overpeer, a company that seeds file-swapping networks with fake files in an attempt to protect copyright holders' work. "Many more users are not offering files for upload, while still downloading. Many users are moving to other networks (aside from Kazaa)."

Most of the lawsuits are still going slowly through the court process, as the RIAA seeks to match its digital evidence of copyright infringement to the names and identities of actual Internet subscribers. About 600 cases have been settled so far, a representative for the music industry organization said.

Tuesday's suits were filed in St. Louis, Denver, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey.

15 comments

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A Complete Waste Of Time
So the RIAA files another 400+ lawsuits. With over 100 million people online and downloading\file-sharing every day, I'd venture to say that the "overall effect" of these lawsuits is insignificant.

Online downloading and file-sharing will NEVER be stopped and it's global. Does anyone really believe that very website in the world that offers file-sharing will someday be shut down? And what about Intranets? Burning copies of CDS?

It's high time for the RIAA to concentrate on how the music industry can best survive in this world and move forward like Steve Jobs has done with iTunes. Instead of viewing the Internet as an enemy, Mr. Jobs has made it an ally. And so have various groups. WILCO released their last album, 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' online after their label deemed it not commercial enough. After thousands of downloads, the album was later released by another label and it became WILCO'S biggest selling album ever going Gold.

The RIAA is wasting time and resources with these lawsuits and every time they file more, they only cause the opposition forces to unite even stronger.
Posted by stephenmeyer (33 comments )
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Fight against the tide
Whenever an empire crumbles it tries its best to stay in power but incompetent rulers cannot see the shift of power. YOu can fight enemies but cannot fight paradigm shifts. The history is littered with examples of such empires ruined. My suggestion is to go with tide and not fight it.
Posted by mercuryrising (60 comments )
Link Flag
Agreement
The RIAA is retarded. I cant take this crap from them anymore. I have ceased to buy CDs from them and I continue to do so. I buy all my music from <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.allofmp3.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.allofmp3.com</a> it is great, legal, and cheap. Best of all, NO DRM&gt; Check it out!!!!
Posted by KDoggMDF (25 comments )
Link Flag
record companies, its there fault
i think the MP3 music file sharing should be put in to perspective, in the country i live in. a double CD cost around $25 -$32 or £13 - £18 approx i can shop almost anywhere in this world and purchase th eexact same cd's cheaper than in the U.K. in the U.K the costs go approx like this, the record shop £1 $1.80, artist £.50p to £1 $1 - $1.80 production of the case and disc £.50p $1 marketing £1 $1.80 record company gets the balance. the state of some track leaves a lot to be desired, some artists with the blessing of the record industry use the F word and the C word and a few other words to specifically target there record sale at children and only children because 5 to 14 yr olds think its big and cleaver to use these words at the dinner table etc. when my 5 yr old come and ask mom can i have some F'in cake or C this or suck that, she's asked where she get this from, "reply" i heard it on a record! i have to remove these words from my 3 and 5 yr olds music then the music industry should be paying me for having to clean up there music. the music industry wants to put it's own house in order first, long before they chase people who download. i was looking at a legal download site so question if a CD is $12 for 14 tracks why am i going to pay $1.50 per track $0.20 to $0.35 cents is more like it. oh yes! i forgot! were back to greed for the music industry, the bosses want $1 million pay rise. i dont mind paying for the music but clean it up and be more realistic about the price, theft works both ways
regards
Posted by bernhug (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Legal, cheap music
AllofMP3.com

Legal (in Russia anyway).
Cheap at 3-5 cents USD per song.
Your choice of format and encoding bit rate.
Good selection.

Excellent value. Why pay more?
Posted by davebarnes (40 comments )
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BECAUSE ITS ILLEGAL
and I support my artists with my wallet!
Posted by bigpoppa--2008 (20 comments )
Link Flag
You idiot
You are mistaken. The only places that are loosing sales are small, measly shops that arent making money because 1) They cant afford to have the best quality CDs and good prices 2) Legal MP3 downloading sites are gaining popularity and 3)People are realizing that the RIAA is a big load of **** that needs to stop the babyish scare tactics and move onto something that will fix this, namely making a service that is cheap, reliable, fast, has all the music anyone could want, and HELPING PEOPLE WHO MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT GET IT. File-sharing only came about because CDs are EXTREMLY overpriced, the quality has degraded with time (thousands of 'one hit' titles) and the RIAA is just an ******* with their business. So I aggree with the statement 'Prove It' because they are a load of ***** that want everything for themselves.
Posted by KDoggMDF (25 comments )
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RIAA missed the boat
Back in the 60s vinyl became popular and there was an explosion in sales as everyone wanted to get their favorite albums so they could listen to them at home at their leasure. By the 80s sales had started to slump but just in time here came CDs. Everyone that had previously bought vinyl now wanted a CD version of their favorite music. By the mid 90s sales had started to slump again.

Then came the internet and file sharing. Everyone wanted their favorite albums in MP3 format to carry around with them. The RIAA missed the boat and this new trend formed without them.

Now the RIAA is mad it missed the boat and wants to torpedo it out of spite in the vain hope it will bring people back to CDs and to the artificially high sales that they had enjoyed for 40 years.

But reality doesnt bend to the will of a handful of people regardless of their influence and money. Change is the only constant in the universe and a completely irresistable force.

The RIAA needs to understand that in reality demand for *new* content has always been low compared to the sales they had enjoyed for so long. The only reason they had been so sucessful for so long is because of the rapidly changing media formats. If you want to doggedly stick to an outdated format then obviously you will become outdated yourself.

The RIAA is on a campaign to warp the american legal system into forcing time to stand still for them but in the process they are destroying our most basic rights as well.

They need to be stopped before the damage they are causing becomes irrepairable.

Music artists dont need the RIAA anymore and that scares them. Demand is at an all time high for talented artists and they stand to profit more now in this new age than ever before. The RIAA claims to be "protecting" their artists but all they are really doing is keeping them poor and under their control for the benefit of the RIAAs executives profit.

This jihad against the change is getting completely rediculous and downright dangerous to our basic freedoms.
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stop buying
Stop paying and support such pigs having a luxury life.

Keep downloading.

**** RIAA.

Here is one individual who has promised to himself never to pay a single more cent to RIAA, together we can make a difference.

Show them who's the boss.
Customers are always right, *********.
Posted by Cnet_Lemieux (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Screw the RIAA
The RIAAs opinions on file sharing are so over exaggerated. Who are we feeling sorry for here? The people whining about piracy are some of the richest people in the world. I'd bet if this was some poor starving artist, finding their music online, they'd probably take it as a compliment, not a threat. Ive written programs and posted them on my web site. If I were to come across one of my programs on a file sharing network, Id think it was the neatest thing in the world. There is so much more than just music and movies out there on the internet, yet all you ever hear about is the media. I think this is partially because the production companies seem to be the most threatened by all of this. If people can go straight to the artist, who's going to need a production company to take 90% of the profit?

What's the difference between downloading music and recording something off the radio or TV? If they're going to make file sharing illegal, they should make tape recorders, DVD/CD burners, PC sound cards, VCRs, and basically anything else with recording capabilities, illegal too. The industries seem to be more afraid of change than anything else. What they should be doing is figuring out how to use this technology for their own benefit, not try to destroy it. In the same way they did for the VCR. Because the movie industry acted the same way when the VCR first came out. They were oh, so afraid that no one would go see movies in theaters and people would copy each others movies, and the industry would go bankrupt. Yet, here we are 30 years later, they fixed copyright laws, didn't destroy the technology, and now they have VCR's and DVD's to thank for making them a great deal richer. Imagine what would have happened had the movie industry got their way and destroyed the technology.

Its almost as if the RIAA is begging for a rebellion. Their actions of lets sue everyone and maybe well get lucky seems to have just encouraged peoples downloading, because it certainly hasnt stopped it. And no matter what they do to try and stop this, the technology will eventually get cracked and people will be free to trade once again. Look what shutting down Napster did. It didnt stop anything and the file trading went from one basically centralized location, sharing only music, to spread all over the internet and sharing nearly everything. With most of these files being shared on peer-to-peer sites that have no central location, so theyre basically impossible to shut down. And every time another one of these sites is shut down, the people are pushed further underground, making it harder and harder on everyone.

The RIAAs current actions are basically a present day witch hunt. It's funny, they're always talking about these evil teenagers that have no respect for copyright and other people's work. Yet, a good percentage of people sharing these files are adults. I wonder what people would think if someone's 90 year-old grandmother was busted for file trading. Because you know she's out there somewhere, waiting to get caught. Maybe we need something like that to happen, just to prove how ridiculous all of this really is.
Posted by Crash2100 (28 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get FREE Music off Napster!
To get FREE Music Off Napster all you need to do is use the Napster Radio feature which is only available to premium members (only (9.95 per month), then use a wave recorder program and it will record the song playing on the Napster radio then you save it to your hard drive! You can choose the genre of the music you want to hear, then when the radio plays your favorite song just hit rewind and record on the wave recorder and it will get the song off Napster for FREE. You can even save it in MP3 format with the ID3 tag, then burn it to cd, you can do this as much as you want for any song! To get the wave recorder program just go to : <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.geocities.com/simplelance/download.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.geocities.com/simplelance/download.htm</a>
Posted by moirone (1 comment )
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