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"Nothing can stop the Music!"
Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 06 October 2007 10:03
Despite lawsuits, P-to-P use still growing
Even large jury settlements and the ever-present threat of litigation can't deter people from sharing music as p-to-p site use has grown 8 percent
Info World
By Grant Gross, IDG News Service
October 05, 2007

If 20,000-plus lawsuits by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) aren't enough to show U.S. residents that the unauthorized sharing of music files will cause legal problems, now there's a $222,000 jury verdict against a And still, the beat goes on.

In 2006, 15 million U.S. households downloaded an unauthorized file using P-to-P (peer-to-peer) software, an 8 percent increase from 2005, according to The NPD Group, a market research firm that tracks digital downloads.

A jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Duluth ordered Jammie Thomas to pay $222,000 for sharing 24 songs using the Kazaa P-to-P software. In the first jury trial for one of the RIAA lawsuits, Thomas was found guilty of sharing songs owned by such companies as Capitol Records, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Records.

Advocates of strong copyright law praised the jury's decision.

"It's unclear why this woman would compound one mistake, offering thousands of songs to strangers, with another one, turning down a settlement in favor of a trial in which she had no evidence to give," said Patrick Ross, executive director of the Copyright Alliance, an advocacy group representing the music industry and other copyright holders. "Hopefully, this will help more people to understand that these are illegal actions with real harms for songwriters and performing artists."

Many U.S. residents don't seem to be getting the message.

The number of U.S. households using paid music download services is increasing, but there are still 2 million fewer than the households that used P-to-P software to download music in 2006, NPD said. And while the rate of growth in P-to-P users slowed in 2006, the number of files downloaded through P-to-P services increased 47 percent between 2005 and 2006, from 3.4 billion to 5 billion, the company said.... More       Comments in the Forums

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