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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RIAA to discontinue mass lawsuits for illegal file sharing of copyrighted music

An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education explains that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has decided to discontinue filing mass lawsuits against groups of students for illegal file sharing of copyrighted music. This news comes after hundreds of people were sued on college campuses throughout the past five years. Instead, the RIAA will pursue a new strategy of working with Internet-service providers to send e-mail warnings and if necessary suspend accounts of individuals when copyright infringement occurs. Although mass lawsuits will no longer be issued, the RIAA will continue pursuing the outstanding lawsuits and has reserved the right to sue people who continue to participate in heavy file sharing or those who ignore repeated warnings to discontinue use. The RIAA believes that the past litigation helped to raise awareness but the marketplace has changed in recent years and the new strategy will help prevent piracy by reaching more people. Mitch Bainwol, RIAA Chairman explained, “Part of the issue with infringement is for people to be aware that their actions are not anonymous.”

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