The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed 750 new lawsuits against online file-traders in nearly every US state.
The lawsuits are against "John Doe" defendants not yet identified by the RIAA. Among them are are 25 university students on 13 campuses. On top of that, another 213 lawsuits have been filed another named defendants who declined or ignored RIAA demands.
The new round of lawsuits follow 762 lawsuits filed this time last month and add to the 6,200 lawsuits against alleged file-traders launched since September 2003.
RIAA estimates that 58 million music tracks have been downloaded from a licensed music service in the first half of 2004. "In order for legitimate services to continue their growth, we cannot ignore those who take and distribute music illegally," said RIAA's president Cary Sherman. "There must be consequences to breaking the law or illegal downloading will cripple the music community's ability to support itself now or invest in the future."
The lawsuits come a fortnight after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by the RIAA in which it argued it should be allowed to force ISPs to disclose the names of people it alleges are downloading copyrighted music.
It also comes on the same day that Microsoft and AOL continued their legal campaign against spam, with a new raft of lawsuits against spammers across the US. Whether either of the two crusades have any effect on spam or file-trading has yet to be seen.