June 24, 2024

RIAA Files 261 Suits

The RIAA launched its long-awaited lawsuit storm today. John Borland at CNet news.com reports that 261 copyright infringement suits were filed against individual defendants.

Several of the suits have already settled, reportedly for around $3,000 each.


  1. Boycott RIAA members music. Donwload free music, or music that is sold at reasonable prices.

  2. The RIAA’s techniques were fully disclosed in the nycfashiongirl case: see especially document 14, parts 1 and 3.

    In addition to file name, hashes of files from pre-shutdown Napster, and MP3 file metadata are examined. From the filings, this *may* not be done on every subpoena/suit, but certainly it is done on contested supoenas/suits. Metadata is apparently included in the KaZaA protocol and can be extracted without a full file download. Hashes need the full file contents to compute, but this is done only for a small number of files (around 10), if the nycfashiongirl case is an accurate guide.

  3. It’s true that you can’t judge a file by its name. It seems likely, though, that they did check the actual contents of at least some of the files on the machines of people they intended to sue.

  4. This is probably more of a question than a comment. From my understanding, the RIAA has scanning software that is designed to scan public P2P directories (in my opinion, questionably legal). That tells me that they are searching for filenames of music. Seeing as an individual user can change filenames (including extentions), how can the RIAA tell if the filenames that they have are truly songs. The contents of those public P2P directories may not necessarily contain songs. In fact, any kind of file could exist. I can’t see the RIAA downloading and testing every file to ensure that it is indeed a music file, and more importantly, a song that is copyrighted by the organizations that the RIAA represent. Like you said, the RIAA has no legal recourse for songs that are downloaded and are not owned by the companies that the RIAA represent.