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RIAA sues 482 more unnamed file-sharers

Settlement rate under 17.5 per cent

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The Recording Industry Ass. of America's assault on copyright infringers continued this week as 482 more North American computer users were accused of sharing music files without authorisation.

The RIAA doesn't know who any of these folk are - the organisation's lawsuits target unnamed defendants - but 213 are believed to live in the St. Louis area, 206 in Washington, DC, 55 in Denver and six in New Jersey. The RIAA has the users' IP addresses and can now pursue ISPs to force them to hand over the names of subscribers who use those addresses.

To date, this approach has been used against 3429 people. The RIAA began its campaign of legal action in September 2003. No lawsuit has yet led to a trial, though 600 people (17.5 per cent of those sued) have settled with the RIAA - around 200 of them since May 2004 - and paid up to $3000 apiece. A number of individuals have been named in fresh lawsuits after they failed to reach such a settlement with the organisation.

In April this year, the organisation admitted it had ended its amnesty programme, originally offered to allow file-sharers to mend their ways with impunity. ®

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