File Traders Meet the Lawsuits

By Pete | @kingpetey | 26 Jun 2003

The music industry is taking hundreds of file traders to court for sharing music over the Internet. The industry is using special software to detect frequent file sharers then is contacting their ISPs for their details. The software targets file trading software such as Kazaa and Grokster for users who share thousands of songs a month.

Each user detected will get a $150,000 (?90,000) lawsuit against them suing for damages to the industry. The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) says its sales have already been hit heavy by such software as Kazaa and that targeting users is the next way forward.

The RIAA recently lost a court case to have parts of the GNUtella network taken down as the companies involved were not able to keep control over what is shared, unlike Kazaa. Many of the file traders are 12-18 year olds, how many of these people are meant to afford such lawsuits is unknown.

File-swappers trade an estimated 2.6 billion songs, movies and other files a month, the industry says. The RIAA expects to file at least several hundred lawsuits seeking financial damages within eight to 10 weeks. Kazaa, the most popular software for file sharing, reported that the number of its users online fell roughly 16 percent by late Thursday morning shortly after the RIAA announced its new campaign.

RIAA spokespeople have pointed toward legitimate online music services available in the US and Europe. One being here, I searched for 5 popular artists:

Craig David
Eminem
Dj Tiesto
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Britney Spears

Not one could be found on the site, it seems strange how online music services which are meant to offer alternatives to Kazaa do not provide the range of music that the majority of people want. I searched for another 20 or so artists from a range of genres, very few came up and the music available for the artists that did come up was still not up to date.