San Francisco - Continuing a crusade against its own
customers, the recording industry today announced lawsuits
against more than five hundred individuals accused of
illegal filesharing.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
announced it would seek the identity of "John Does" known by
the addresses of the computers they use to access the
Internet. The RIAA will have to seek permission from judges
before they can issue subpoenas to ISPs seeking the
identities of the John Does. The process offers more due
process and privacy protections than the automatic
subpoenas the D.C. Circuit court rejected in the RIAA v.
Verizon case.

"While it's an improvement that the record industry now has
to play by the same rules as everyone else who goes into
court, they are still heading in the wrong direction," noted
EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "The recording industry
should be giving America's millions of filesharers the same
deal that radio stations have had for decades: pay a fair
fee, play whatever you want on whatever software works best
for you."

The record labels will have to prove that they have evidence
in support of their claims and do a "reasonable
investigation" before filing suit, rather than obtaining a
subpoena rubber-stamped by a court clerk, which is what the
D.C. Circuit court outlawed in late December.



Cindy Cohn

   Legal Director

   Electronic Frontier Foundation


Fred von Lohmann

   Senior Intellectual Property Attorney

   Electronic Frontier Foundation