RIAA and DirecTV file more suits

Drag thousands to court

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) legal actions against illegal file sharing activities continue apace, with 80 new suits filed this week and 156 in total, from its first batch of suits and the batch of 204 letters it sent out last week, settling out of court.

Originally, 241 legal actions were filed on the first round and since then the RIAA has decided to tread more softly, sending out 204 letters to alleged file sharers in its second round. It is now filing suit against 80 of these. Of the 156 that have settled, 124 came out of this latest batch.

The RIAA has also had another 1,000 people apply for amnesty from litigation under its "Clean Slate" program where you destroy illegal tracks and promise not to do it again.

On a different note, and probably more seriously, DirecTV has said that it will sue at least 150 residents of Maryland which it claims have been using unauthorized equipment to receive programming.

The allegations are part of a nationwide sweep by DirecTV and the company has sent letters to more than 80,000 people asking around $3,500 each to settle. The company has already filed over 15,000 law suits.

DirecTV is being lambasted for its heavy-handed approach, with one defender of the actions saying that many of these people don’t even have satellite dishes. The defendants either have to pay the settlement fines or pay a lawyer to defend them and if DirecTV isn’t fully diligent it could find itself paying legal costs on both sides.

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Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of events that have happened each week in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here

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