RIAA Sues 261 File Traders

Amnesty plan also announced

September 8, 2003 12:00 AM ET

The Recording Industry Association of America filed 261 lawsuits in federal courts around the country today against individuals who allegedly downloaded digital music illegally. The RIAA, which represents the five biggest record labels, said the lawsuits will continue and could eventually number into the thousands.

According to statement, the individuals targeted in this initial round of litigation were sharing an average of over 1,000 songs each. Illegal trading of music on the Internet has caused CD sales to plunge by nearly a third over the last three years.

The individuals targeted in today's lawsuits will not be eligible for the new amnesty plan also announced by the RIAA. It allows file-traders who admit they illegally share music online to escape litigation in return for promising to delete all illicit downloads and to not illegally trade music again.

Under current copyright laws, the RIAA can seek damages of up to $150,000 for each song illegally downloaded. But this summer, the industry promised that its lawsuits against individual downloaders wouldn't be "excessive"; it announced today that it had reached $3,000 settlements with less than ten downloaders who would have been targeted with lawsuits.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »