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File-Sharing Lawsuits Fail to Deter P2P Downloaders

PRESS RELEASE
November 3, 2005

RIAA v. The People: Two Years Later

Chicago - It's been two years since the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) started suing music fans who share songs online. Thousands of Americans have been hit by lawsuits, but both peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and the litigation continue unabated.

In a report released Thursday, "RIAA v. The People: Two Years Later," the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argues that the lawsuits are singling out only a select few fans for retribution, and many of them can't afford either to settle the case or defend themselves. EFF's report cites the case of a single mother in Minnesota who faces $500,000 in penalties for her daughter's alleged downloading, as well as the case of a disabled veteran who was targeted for downloading songs she already owned.

"Out of the millions of people who download music from P2P systems every day, the RIAA arbitrarily picks a few hundred to sue every month," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Many of those families suffer severe financial hardship. But despite all the publicity, studies show that P2P usage is increasing instead of decreasing."

"RIAA v. The People" was released in conjunction with the first annual P2P Litigation Summit in Chicago on Thursday, which brings together defense attorneys, clients, advocates, and academics to discuss the latest developments in the lawsuits.

Three other reports released Thursday were aimed at helping lawyers representing music fans sued by the RIAA. "Typical Claims and Counter Claims in Peer to Peer Litigation" is a general discussion of the lawsuits, while "Parental Liability for Copyright Infringement by Minor Children" and "Copyright Judgments in Personal Bankruptcy" both tackle important issues arising in defending families from devastating judgments.

"After two years of lawsuits, there's only one conclusion to draw," said von Lohmann. "Suing music fans is no answer to the P2P dilemma."

For "RIAA v. The People: Two Years Later":
http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/RIAAatTWO_FINAL.pdf

For "Typical Claims and Counter Claims in Peer to Peer Litigation:
http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/RIAA_v_ThePeople/P2P_witkin.pdf

For "Parental Liability for Copyright Infringement":
http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/Parent_Liability_Nov_2005.pdf

For "Copyright Judgments in Personal Bankruptcy":
http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/RIAA_v_ThePeople/P2P_bktcy_memo.pdf

For more on the P2P Litigation Summit:
http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/p2p_litigation_summit.php

Contacts:

Cindy Cohn
Legal Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
cindy@eff.org

Fred von Lohmann
Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
fred@eff.org

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