Music Industry to Dump Download Lawsuits

RIAA takes new tack in battling online file sharing
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2008 9:56 AM CST
Jammie Thomas of Brainerd, Minn., right, leaves the federal courthouse with her attorney, Brian Toder, after the jury returned a verdict against her in her civil trial for alleged music pirating.   (AP Photo/Julia Cheng)
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(Newser) – After five years of suing everyone from single mothers to teenage girls for illegally sharing music files, the recording industry is dropping the legal campaign that has ensnared 35,000 individuals, the Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, an industry group is making deals with Internet-service providers to warn those sharing music files via email. Those who refuse may receive slower service, or be booted offline.

Though the Recording Industry Association of America reserves the right to take particularly heavy sharers to court for piracy, it expects its caseload to slow dramatically. The new strategy also eliminates the need for ISPs to disclose their customers’ identities to the RIAA, a controversial aspect of the litigation strategy.