RIAA sues 261 file swappers

clipped from news.cnet.com

RIAA sues 261 file swappers

The long-awaited barrage of lawsuits marks a turning point in the industry’s three-year fight against online song-trading services like Kazaa and the now-defunct Napster, and one of the most controversial moments in the recording industry’s digital history.

After long years avoiding direct conflict with file swappers who might also be record buyers, industry executives said they have lost patience. Monday’s lawsuits are just the first wave of what the group said ultimately could be “thousands more” lawsuits filed over the next few months.

“Our goal is not to be vindictive or punitive,” said RIAA President Cary Sherman. “It is simply to get peer-to-peer users to stop offering music that does not belong to them.”

The lawsuits mark the first time that copyright laws have been used on a mass scale against individual Internet users. Legal actions have been taken on a sporadic basis against operators of
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