September 15, 2005 9:56 AM PDT

Record labels send more letters to P2P services

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The Recording Industry Association of America has sent letters to seven peer-to-peer companies, asking them to halt what the RIAA alleges is their practice of encouraging users to illegally distribute copyrighted material.

The RIAA's actions follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June against P2P services provider Grokster and marks one of the first actions the recording industry trade group has taken against P2P services beyond Grokster. In a unanimous decision, the court said companies that build businesses with the active intent of encouraging copyright infringement should be held liable for their customers' illegal actions.

"Companies situated similarly to Grokster have been given ample opportunity to do the right thing," a RIAA spokesperson said. "Those businesses that continue to knowingly operate on the wrong side of that line do so at their own risk."

The letters were mailed to seven file-sharing companies, according to a RIAA spokesperson, who declined to identify the companies.

Companies such as eDonkey, Lime Wire and Kazaa were viewed as potential targets of litigation after the Supreme Court ruling because of their unrestricted file-swapping services. Under the court's decision, these companies could face the additional burden of demonstrating that they were not encouraging users to circumvent copyright laws.

In a copy of the letter obtained by CNET, the RIAA states: "We demand that you immediately cease-and-desist from enabling and inducing the infringement of RIAA member sound recordings. If you wish to discuss pre-litigation resolution of these claims against you, please contact us immediately."

The letter, dated Tuesday, Sept. 13, goes on to say that the U.S. Supreme Court decision involving Grokster applies equally to the company and certain individuals at the company.

Other companies in the peer-to-peer file-swapping market include i2Hub, BitTorrent, WinMX and Free Peers, maker of file-swapping software BearShare.

BearShare, WinMX and Lime Wire were identified in a Wall Street Journal story as recipients of the letters.

Lime Wire declined to comment, and Free Peers did not return phone calls. WinMX representatives could not be reached for comment.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the RIAA has been diligently filing lawsuits against alleged copyright violators. Last June, RIAA filed lawsuits against 784 individuals and just last month issued another round against 754 individuals.

See more CNET content tagged:
RIAA, Grokster Ltd., WinMX, file-swapping, P2P


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Will the RIAA EVER get a clue?
When will the RIAA realize / understand / admit that the shallow, meaningless crap the record labels crank out year after mind-numbing year is the primary reason people don't "legitimately" buy music?

I'm not condoning theft of intellectual property, I'm just sick of the recording industry crying about lost revenue when 99.9% of their product is ridiculously bad; I wouldn't listen to it if it was free! I wonder what percentage of the monies collected by from these strong-arm lawsuits actually makes it to the artist's bank account.
Posted by Scottitude (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Could not agree with you More
I have to agree 100% I like nothing out there ...
its all crap! And even it was not i would not use P2P way WAY to much spyware!

And I don't care what others say MP3's do not sound as good as a CD!

when P2P first come out I use to use it to try a song out, I bought cd's way back then if I herd a song I like...

I dont mess with Plses like Ituns becuse of the DRM CRAP! I tried iTuns had 12 songs from thme and then the pc crasheD and I could no longer access my songs ...and they would not reactavate them for any thing with DRM is 100% CRAP...

The RIAA is just using lawsuite to make money they can nolonger get buy selling TRASH!

I saw we all Go on strike NO ONE SHOULD BUY A DAM SONG, CD, or DVD lets every one do it for a whole month say this NOV pass it out NOV is RIAA Boycot Month!
Posted by Migraine (95 comments )
Link Flag
RIAA can go to hell for all I care
Because of their actions I haven't purchased a CD in years.

RIAA is nothing but an corrupt organization infested with lawyers. But they do go hand in hand.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
people who ruin it for the rest of us
If people would stop being so greedy with their music and keep their downloads to a minimum maybe we would still have access to free music. Stop with the fake files and downloading 5000 filles and remember to share. The RIAA sucks. i support free music all the way just stop with the black market and tell the record companies to kiss off.
Posted by ijavag60 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Since when is "BitTorrent" a company?
And since when has BitTorrent the "company" encouraged music piracy?
Posted by UnnDunn (55 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What does the RIAA have to lose?
I bet they will go after all the p2p companies, at least the ones they can get to easily. I mean, what do they have to lose? The entire RIAA structure is based on lawyers and lawsuits.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Link Flag
BitTorrent, Inc.
Check out <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>. It would appear that BitTorrent is indeed a company.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
BitTorrent, Inc.
I believe Bram Cohen and a few of his peeps started BitTorrent, Inc. a few months ago.

Look at the bottom of the page @

I read it in an article.

But of course, Bram Cohen and his BitTorrent crew do not encourage copyright infringement, in fact they've said that using BitTorrent to downloaded copyrighted material is a terrible idea that they don't recommend because BitTorrent doesn't in any way mask your IP address and anyone can log IPs in a torrent's swarm.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Link Flag
They haven't won yet...
All the Supreme Court ruled was that the RIAA had a basis for a
lawsuit -a company could be sued if their busisness model was
based on infringment. The case is now in the lower court where it
originated and has yet to be tried (the RIAA has to prove several
factors including that the business model relies on infringement).
The RIAA could still lose.

But not having won anything yet doesn't stop them from initiating
lawsuits against everyone else.
Posted by taznar (45 comments )
Reply Link Flag
riaa assholes are crazy limewire is a pay service
WHAT THE HELL IS riaa up too I pay to get music off of limewire, are they idiots or what??
god I wish I had their real email to right to them a real email letter and tell them what I really think of them instead of that f'n webmaster email
what a bunch of f'n morons!!!!!!!!
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
You know, I tried to legally download songs from WalMart, eighty eight cents a pop. After downloading the songs, they would not play thru Windows Media Player, something about a problem with licenses
Posted by tdrv (4 comments )
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