Movie biz to sue P2P film-sharers

MPAA follows RIAA

The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) is set to follow its music-industry counterpart, the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) and begin suing file-sharers.

So claims an Associated Press source said to be familiar with movie studios' plans, though the MPAA itself would not comment on the move.

Searches of most P2P networks are as likely to reveal movies as well as music, in many ways it's surprising that the film industry has taken as long as it has to follow the RIAA's example. To date, its legal action in the P2P arena has centred on trying to have the software deemed illegal. But with both District Court and Court of Appeal failures behind it, the MPAA may very well have decided that it needs to tackle movie-sharers directly.

The MPAA is currently waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will rule in its action against the P2P networks themselves.

AP's source said the first lawsuits - up to 200 in number - could be announced today. The MPAA has said it will be making an announcement later today relating to the illegal sharing of movies via P2P networks.

Whenever they come, the lawsuits will likely target sharers known only by their IP address and username.

To date, the RIAA has issued over 6200 lawsuits against named and unnamed individuals, most recently 762 complaints filed late September. The first lawsuits were sent out in September 2003. ®

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