Recording Industry Sues 32 Students For Illegal File-Sharing

Suit alleges students illegally used their university networks to share copyrighted music files on peer-to-peer networks.

It's been a rough few days for illegal file-sharers.

The recording industry sued 32 individuals at 26 schools on Thursday for illegally using their university networks to share copyrighted music files on peer-to-peer networks, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The RIAA is currently seeking out 762 individuals whom it alleges are illegally sharing copyrighted files.

President of the RIAA Cary Sherman told the trade publication that lawsuits brought against university students are designed to emphasize the consequences of illegal downloading and encourage them to seek out legal downloading networks.

The individuals accused were reportedly using unauthorized peer-to-peer networks including eDonkey, Kazaa and LimeWire. All three networks are current targets of the Inducing Infringements of Copyrights Act, which seeks to make companies offering illegal downloads accountable for their users.

The bill states that many peer-to-peer networks attempt to make copyright violations attractive to users. Some technology companies and consumer groups have come out against the bill, stating that the individuals who violate copyrights should be the only ones accountable for their actions, given that the networks have other legitimate uses besides illegally downloading files.

The bill has yet to be passed and negotiators were reportedly expected to meet on Friday to compose a draft of the bill.

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill stating that users of peer-to-peer networks sharing more than 1,000 copyrighted files could face up to three years of jail time (see "Downloading Illegally? House Says You Should Go To Jail").

For complete digital music coverage, check out the Digital Music Reports.