On October 26th the RIAA commenced a new round of copyright infringement lawsuits against 745 individuals, including computer network users at 17 colleges.
RIAA President Cary Sherman said the college students are guilty of "theft".
The lawsuits were commenced by filing, and only named "John Does", so the college students involved do not even know they have been sued.
They will not know until months, or even years, later. Meanwhile, various judicial proceedings will have taken place, with only the RIAA represented.
The people "sued" are people who may have had IP addresses that were associated in some way with peer-to-peer services such as Grokster, Kazaa and LimeWire.
This particular round of lawsuits targeted computers from which someone may have used the file-sharing application i2hub.
This round of litigation marks the fourth time the music industry has attacked IP addresses that are part of university computer networks, for a total of 635 lawsuits at 39 campuses this year.
These secret lawsuits target students at Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California – Berkeley, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Southern California.
In addition to the John Doe "lawsuits" filed today, music companies filed lawsuits earlier this month against 81 named defendants. The names of these individuals, whose Internet Protocol (IP) addresses were previously identified in “John Doe” lawsuits, were secretly subpoenaed from their respective Internet Service Providers (ISP), which was permitted by the Courts in "ex parte" proceedings -- i.e., proceedings in which only one side, the RIAA, was represented.
Those lawsuits against named defendants were filed in federal district courts in Hartford, Connecticut; Newnan and Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Urbana, Rock Island and Peoria, Illinois; Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Marquette, Michigan; Camden, Trenton and Newark, New Jersey; Brooklyn, White Plains, New York and Long Island, New York; Greenville, Columbia, Aiken and Charleston, South Carolina; and Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio and Midland, Texas.
See also article by Jon Newton at p2pNet: