RIAA Continues Enforcement Of Rights With New Lawsuits Against 784 Illegal File Sharers

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The body of Grokster was barely cold in the grave, when this press release came across Aunty’s desk:

WASHINGTON – As part of its continued efforts to promote legal online services, educate fans about the right and wrong way to enjoy digital music, and enforce its rights through the legal system, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), on behalf of the major record companies, today announced a new wave of copyright infringement lawsuits against 784 illegal file sharers.

The “John Doe� suits filed today cite the individuals for illegally distributing copyrighted music on the Internet via unauthorized peer-to-peer services such as KaZaa, LimeWire and Grokster. The litigations were filed in federal district courts across the country, including in: California, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, DC.

“On Monday, the Supreme Court provided a real shot in the arm to legitimate online music services and unanimously injected moral clarity into this debate,� said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA. “If there was any doubt left, there should now be none – individuals who download music without permission are breaking the law. Our efforts to defend the rights of record labels, musicians, songwriters and others in the music community from theft will certainly continue and likely be strengthened in the weeks and months ahead.�

As a member of Music United – a broad coalition composed of virtually every component of the recording industry and music community – the RIAA also applauds the coalition’s launch of multiple educational initiatives, including a worldwide campaign with Childnet International to help parents understand how to keep their children safe and legal when downloading music on the Internet. A new parental pamphlet, “Young People, Music and the Internet – a guide for parents about P2P, file-sharing and downloading,â€? will be distributed across the globe in the coming months and on websites including www.musicunited.org. Childnet International is leading the campaign, with various partners in 18 countries.

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In addition, Music United today launched an advertisement campaign that highlights the harmful effects of illegal downloading on the music industry. The “Feed a Musician, Download Legally� ads will appear on outdoor poster space in 11 major cities, where they can be seen in areas such as metro stops and the sides of buildings undergoing renovations.

“Against a clear backdrop of what is right and what is wrong – what is legal and what is illegal – it is as important now as ever to encourage our fans do the right thing,� said Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA. “Ideally, this is a message that will resonate broadly with millions of fans all across the country – and one that parents will take up personally in conversations with their kids.�

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