(Contributed by SNGX1275) The Recording Industry Association of America has just filed 532 lawsuits against music file swappers who share an average of at least 800 songs with other online music fans, reports The Associated Press. It is the largest single sweep of lawsuits the group has made since it launched its campaign against file sharing last summer.

Currently, the RIAA knows the Internet protocal addresses of the 532 targeted file sharers, but not their names or addresses. It plans to discover the identity of each defendant through Internet service providers such as Verizon Internet Services Inc. Verizon successfully challenged the industry's use of copyright subpoenas in December. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the recording industry cannot use subpoenas to force Internet providers to identify music downloaders without filing a lawsuit.

Hence today's filing of hundreds of lawsuits. How Internet providers respond remains to be seen, though Verizon has been fighting to maintain the privacy of its customers since the RIAA's campaign to stop file sharing began.

Read more: [URL=http://weblogs.csmonitor.com/scitechblog/2004/01/index.html#a0000764933]The CS Monitor[/URL].