Merry Christmas From The RIAA


The music industry dropped 751 copyright-infringement lawsuits in the
mail today, bringing the total number of legal actions this year
against alleged peer-to-peer (P2P) infringers to more than 7,000.


The John Doe lawsuits filed Thursday cite individuals for illegally
distributing copyrighted music on the Internet through P2P services, such as
LimeWire and Kazaa. In addition to the John Doe suits, the major music
labels also filed lawsuits against 105 named defendants.


“At stake is the music industry’s ability to invest in the next generation
of music and a chance for legal online music services to flourish,” Cary
Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),
said in a statement.


The latest batch of RIAA lawsuits comes a day after market research firm NPD
Group issued numbers claiming illegal
downloads have fallen 11 percent since the Supreme Court ruled in June that Grokster and other P2P companies were operating illegal businesses.


Those numbers, however, were disputed by Eric Garland, CEO of media
measurement firm BigChampagne.


“In fact, in every month since Grokster, P2P activity is actually higher
than it was in May/June, or at any other point,” he said in an e-mail to
internetnews.com.


Whether the amount of illegal P2P downloading is up or down, the RIAA
pledged to continue its lawsuits.


“We must do everything to protect the integrity of the marketplace. That
means educating fans about steering clear of pirated products and continuing
to enforce our rights to send a clear message that stealing music will bring
consequences,” Sherman said.


The John Doe lawsuits included students at Drexel University, Harvard and
the University of Southern California.

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