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RIAA sues 493 more music swappers

The music industry group doesn't know the identities of those it targeted in its latest round of suits but plans to discover them through subpoenas.

A U.S. music industry group said Monday it has sued 493 more people for copyright infringement as part of its campaign to stop consumers from copying music over the Internet.

The Recording Industry Association of America has now sued nearly 3,000 individuals since last September in an attempt to discourage people from copying songs through peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa and LimeWire.

The trade group, which represents the five largest recording companies, has settled more than 400 of those cases for around $3,000 each.

The RIAA does not yet know the identities of those it targeted in its latest round of lawsuits but plans to discover them through court-issued subpoenas.

The trade group turned to these "John Doe" lawsuits in January after an appeals court ruled that Internet service providers like Verizon Communications do not have to provide customers' names to recording-industry investigators.

Also on Monday, the RIAA said it sued 24 individuals by name after discovering their identities through John Doe suits.

Those sued by name declined offers to settle out of court, the RIAA said.

"We will continue to go the extra mile and seek to resolve these cases in a fair and reasonable manner," RIAA President Cary Sherman said. RIAA members include Warner Music Group, Bertelsmann's BMG, EMI Group, Sony Music and Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group.

Story Copyright  © 2004 Reuters Limited.  All rights reserved.

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