RIAA to issue warnings first, lawsuits second

Stop sharing - or face the consequences

The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) has selected its further batch of lawsuit targets, but this time has given the file swappers the chance to pack it in before being served with writs.

Some 204 alleged copyright infringers have been targeted. Each has been given ten days to respond to the RIAA's warning letter, or they will be sued, the organisation, which represents the world's biggest recording companies, said on Friday.

It claims to have reached out-of-court settlements with 64 file sharers to date. Its first batch of lawsuits targeted 261 individuals. Does that include the unjustly accused, we wonder - such as the 66-year-old woman charge with sharing files using Kazaa but later discovered to be a Mac user and thus unable to run Kazaa even if she wanted to.

Such cases have fostered the view that the RIAA's tactics are heavy handed and disproportionate.

"In light of the comments we have heard, we want to go the extra mile and offer illegal file sharers an additional chance to work this out short of legal action," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a statement.

Said "comments" are undoubtedly a reference to grumblings from US senators unhappy with the RIAA's plan to sue file sharers, many of whom are registered voters. ®

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