Music industry sues 784 users of Kazaa, Grokster, LimeWire

Recording Industry Association of America filed a new series of complaints against US-based users of peer-to-peer software distributors Kazaa, Grokster and LimeWire.

The move came two days after the US Supreme Court ruled networks such as Grokster may be held liable for infringement if they encourage people to make unauthorized copies of copyrighted songs, films or other content. Some 784 users were targeted in the RIAA’s complaints, for violation of copyright.

The ruling in the closely watched “MGM v. Grokster” case gives a powerful tool to Hollywood and the music industry to crack down on distributors of technology designed to skirt copyright protection and make illegal copies. Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the RIAA, which represents the US recording industry, said the ruling “provided a real shot in the arm to legitimate online music services and unanimously injected moral clarity into this debate.”

“If there was any doubt left, there should now be none — individuals who download music without permission are breaking the law,” Bainwol said.

The RIAA has filed thousands of suits against music pirates since the September 2003 launch of its legal offensive.

Critics of Monday’s unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court, which sought to craft rules for fighting digital piracy in the biggest copyright case in two decades, had said it left murky guidelines that would lead to more litigation.

The case was seen as the most important in the copyright area since the 1984 “Betamax” decision named for the Sony videocasette recorder, a case that provided immunity from liability for providers of technology that can be used for both legal and unauthorized copies.

News source: Yahoo


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