Friday, June 16, 2006

No more lawsuits since February? Stopping at 17,587 people sued?

It appears that since Febraury, the RIAA has not brought any more lawsuits against individual file swappers. That's great news if its true. If so, we can contact the Guiness Book of World Records and ask if anybody has ever sued 17,587 people. My guess is no.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

750 more sued; 17,587 total

Stabilizing at around 750 defendants per month, the RIAA sued that many people this month. The total number of people sued for swapping music files online is now 17,587.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

750 more sued; 16,837 total

Another 750 more people sued this month for sharing music. Brings the total to 16,837. If you too think this is astounding, by all means write your congressman, start a blog, or do something.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

751 more sued; 16,087 total

Making for a not-so-merry Christmas for some Ivy Leaguers, the RIAA sued 751 more kids for trading songs online, including students at Harvard University. This brings the total number sued to 16,087.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

754 more sued; 15,336 total

If you're seeing a patten of suing around 700-800 people a month, you're right. This month, the RIAA sued 754 more people for swapping music files, breaking the 15,000 mark with the total number of suits.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

745 more sued; 14,582 total

Just before Halloween, the RIAA sues another 745 college computer users for supposedly illegal trading in copyright music files. This brings the total to 14,582. Keep in mind that even if the RIAA erroneously identifies 1% of defendants, that means that 145 people have been wrongly accused. With nasty letters threatening damages in the thousands and even millions, I wonder how many have settled and paid large sums of money simply to be free of RIAA harassment.

Friday, September 30, 2005

757 more sued; 13,837 total

In their latest round of lawsuits, the RIAA targeted 757 file sharers at 17 colleges, some of whom used Internet2 for the so-called "theft." You defendants join the ranks of the now 13,837 individuals sued for file sharing.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

754 more sued; 13,080 total

I continue to be amazed at the sheer quantity of lawsuits. The RIAA sued 754 more people this month for file swapping, trying to get their names and collect thousands in damages. This brings the total number of lawsuits to 13,080.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

765 more sued; 12,326 total

Using big words, the RIAA sued 765 more "thieves" this month, bringing the total number sued to 12,326. And if you'd all send me $1 . . .

Thursday, June 30, 2005

784 more sued; 11,561 total

A whopping 784 new lawsuits coming in just before the end of June. Total number of file-sharers sued: 11,561.

Friday, May 27, 2005

740 more sued; 10,777 total

On Thursday the RIAA announced that it filed lawsuits against 740 new file sharers. A small portion of those sued were targeted for using the high-speed Internet2 network. The RIAA sued 91 students at 33 schools, ranging from Boston University to Wake Forest, alleged to use Internet2 to illegally share music files (around 3 students per school). Continuing the rhetoric, the RIAA labeled this alleged conduct “theft,” despite its proper and more accurate title of “infringement.”

Friday, April 29, 2005

725 more file sharers sued; 10,037 total (!)

Making up for March's skipped litigation, the RIAA filed a second round of April lawsuits this week against 725 file sharers for copyright infringement. Perhaps answering my question from earlier this month, the latest press release no longer mentions that only university students are being sued.

The total number of file sharers sued has now broken the five-digit barrier, coming in at 10,037 people sued by the RIAA since September 2003. This is an astounding figure. I just checked the Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics and found that this one wave of litigation represents 2.3% of all civil cased filed in federal court. (The average number of civil lawsuits filed per month for 2003 and 2004 was 21,363; in the 20 months since the RIAA began suing file sharers, the recording industry filed 502 lawsuits on average each month.) And given the news reports of $3,000 average settlements, this means the RIAA's probably collected over $30 million from individual file sharers.

These lawsuits must be moneymakers for the RIAA or else they wouldn't have gone on for so long. But will they become a standard feature of our online society for years to come? Or will the RIAA give it up some day? I mean, given that there will always be some file sharing, at what point does the RIAA say that it's won?

UPDATE [4/30/05, 8:48pm]: This news made it onto Slashdot today, so at least someone else finds this stuff interesting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

405 new lawsuits; 9,312 total

After skipping March, the RIAA's back in the game in April, filing 405 new lawsuits against internet file swappers. This brings the total number up to 9,312 file sharers sued.

The recording industry may have taken so long to bring its next wave of lawsuits because it's now targeting Internet2 users. In a we're-smarter-than-you statement, the RIAA writes: "Students find i2hub especially appealing because they mistakenly believe their illegal file-sharing activities can’t be detected in the closed environment of the Internet2 network."

Interestingly, the past six months or so of lawsuits have expressly focused on university students. So are working stiffs safe to share files with impunity?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

753 more sued; 8,907 total

Well, the recording industry sued 753 more file sharers today in its effort to curb p2p file trading. If anyone reading has been sued, I'd like to hear your story, including how you decided to settle, how many songs you had, and what the settlement was. This week's lawsuits bring the running total to 8,907 people sued since the RIAA began its offensive in September 2003.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

717 new file sharers sued; 8,154 total

The RIAA rung in the new year by filing lawsuits against 717 new file sharers, continuing to focus on university students. That means 8,154 people have been sued in sum. That's the entire size of some universities, I'm sure.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

754 new lawsuits filed; 7,437 total

Recording companies sued 754 new p2p users today, bringing us close to 7.5e3 users sued for their online file swapping.

Friday, November 19, 2004

761 more sued; 6,683 total

The RIAA's latest wave of lawsuits hit 761 file sharers this month, making for 6,683 lawsuits total. They've been keeping up a 700+ pace for the past four months now.

Friday, October 29, 2004

750 more sued; 5,922 total

592 new lawsuits yesterday against file swapping p2p users. The total number of people sued now stands at 5,922.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

762 more lawsuits; 5,172 grand total

Staying above 700 for the second month in a row, the RIAA sued 762 new file sharers today for copyright infringement, bringing the grand total in the industry's sustained attack on p2p up to 5,172 people sued.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

744 new suits; 4,410 total

Stepping up it's efforts, the RIAA's August wave of lawsuits targeted 744 file sharers, including eDonkey users. So in the span of about a year, the recording industry has managed to sue 4,410 file swappers.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

506 more sued; 3,666 lawsuits in all

On Tuesday the RIAA sued 506 more file sharers, for a grand total of 3,666 lawsuits in all (666 -- creepy). If each person settled for $3,000, that's about $1 million in settlements so far.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

213 new lawsuits; 3,160 total

The RIAA filed 213 new lawsuits today against people who swap songs, suing them as "John Does" and then learning their identity. Since September then, the recording industry has sued 3,160 people for copyright infringement. This has got to be a record.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

477 sued in April, 493 in May; 2,454 total

I missed the news of the RIAA's litigation in April, so I'm including April and May in this post. The recording industry sued 477 file sharers on April 28 and 493 file sharers on May 24. The running total now stands at a whopping 2,545 people sued. Quite the cottage industry there.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

532 more file sharers sued; 1,977 total

I'm beginning to see a pattern in the RIAA's lawsuits: 532 in Jan., 531 in Feb., and now 532 in March. This latest round of lawsuits brings the total up to 1,977. According to the press release, the RIAA is now getting subpoenas for the identities of the file sharers.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

531 more sued; 1,445 total

531 more file sharers were sued by the RIAA this month. This brings the total up to 1,445 lawsuits.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

532 new lawsuits; 914 total

The recording industry sued another 532 file swappers yesterday, making a total of 914 lawsuits in this attack against p2p file sharing. I'm amazed at the sheer size of the operation -- this is numerically equivalent to suing my entire high school.

There's an interesting article online about the business merits of this strategy: Suing Your Customers: A Winning Business Strategy? (free reg. required). In the article, Professor Shell compares these lawsuits to Henry Ford's situation almost 100 years ago and finds that the recording industry will likewise fail.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

41 new lawsuits; 382 total

This RIAA press release states that the recording industry sued 41 new file sharers today, bringing the total number of lawsuits up to 382. It also reports that the RIAA has settled with 220 file sharers already.

Friday, October 31, 2003

80 new lawsuits; 341 total

On October 30, the RIAA sued 80 more file sharers for copyright infringement. That brings the total number of people sued up to 341 file sharers. This article reports that most of the people sued are eager to settle and that the average settlement amount is $3,000.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Welcome to RIAA Watch, a blog designed to keep track of the RIAA's lawsuits against file sharers.

On Monday, the RIAA announced that it would sue 261 file sharers in "the first wave of what could ultimately be thousands of civil lawsuits." According to the RIAA press release, each defendant "averag[es] more than 1,000 copyrighted music files each."

Here is a link to the press release: